The Borno State senator, Muhammed Ndume, who was acquitted by an Abuja court of alleged links to Boko Haram had on Sunday said he was considering suing the federal government.
Mr. Ndume is currently serving a six months suspension that was slammed on him by his colleagues after he asked the Senate to investigate allegations of impropriety levelled against the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and a Kogi State senator, Dino Melaye.
The senate investigated and said the allegations were false.
In an interview with journalists in his Maiduguri, Borno State home, the embattled senator also accused the media of treating him unfairly.
He said while the government was struggling to find evidence to indict him, the Nigeria media passed judgment on him as Boko Haram sponsor.
The Senator said the “media trial” to which he was “unfairly” subjected by journalists did not only hurt his person but also tormented members of his family.
“For six years the federal government put me on trial without any evidence to prove their false allegations against me,” he said.
“After six years the court said they had no case against me so they have to acquit me. But the media wasn’t fair; the spirit with which they reported my arraignment has not been matched with the reports published on my acquittal.”
He said he has not decided on the way forward especially on how to seek redress for the damages and abuse of his right and privileges which the federal government’s false allegations caused him and his family.
“I am yet to decide on whether to go to court and sue the federal government for damages or speak to the media so that my own story too would be heard.
“For six years I was restricted, I could not travel, I could not move an inch, I was subjected to emotional torture when all the while the government knew that there was nothing against me and they know who the sponsors of Boko Haram are.
“And the saddest aspect of it all was that up till when the case was dismissed finally, nobody, including those in the media who had subjected me to their trial, could query the lame facts brought to the court.”
He said he met the alleged Boko Haram spokesperson, who mentioned him as their group’s informant, when they met in the court.
Mr. Ndume said his travail was masterminded by the Goodluck Jonathan administration who were not comfortable with his criticisms.
“Could you imagine the arrested Boko Haram spokesman mentioned some other persons but it was only me that was taken to court?”
“That shows that I was the only person that the government wanted to fight.
“But I will still ensure that my voice is heard and my side of the story is told as well; because there are so many things that the world need to know.
“Could you imagine the media reporting that I had 73 phone contacts with the Sanda Konduga, the Boko Haram spokesman!
“How could one make over 70 calls and no one could trace the call logs on a platform when we all know communication is two-way traffic. But sadly no one queried that scientific fact, including the press.
HOW IT STARTED
Mr. Ndume explained that his troubles started when he was a member of a presidential committee on dialogue with Boko Haram that was set up by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“As a member of that committee, our contacts were made available to members of the public so that anyone with credible information could contact us. It was at that time this Sanda chap called and I told him I would get back to him. Unfortunately, I never did because we have hundreds of people calling at that time.
“So, he sent me a text message that I said I would get back to him and I didn’t. So, when the security people saw that text they said we were communicating with him, even though I did not respond to that text message as well,” Mr. Ndume said.
Stating that his travail was one of the challenges of leadership, Mr. Ndume said he could forget some of his painful travail but not the ones suffered by his immediate family members.
“One of my daughters approached me and said, ‘Daddy now that the court said you are not guilty as they alleged, it is time we take the government to court.’
“Even as I tried to calm them, their anger is justified because that my very daughter lost her four months old pregnancy when she heard that I was arrested and arraigned in court. Some of my little kids were molested in school by people who call them names! So how much could one take for an offense one is innocent of?”