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Police set to arraign Wadume, 18 others for murder, kidnapping

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The Nigerian Police Force has concluded plans to arraign suspected Taraba kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Bala (alias Wadume) Captain Tijjani Balarabe, two dismissed policemen and about eight members of the kidnap gang.

Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Frank Mba, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, disclosed in an interview with The Guardian, confirmed that the police will arraign Wadume and others at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday 16th, March, 2020.

The arrest of Bala, better known as Wadume, seven months ago in Taraba, followed the killing of three policemen and a civilian by soldiers at a checkpoint.

Wadume then escaped until his re-arrest in Kano. Since his re-arrest in August 2019, very little has been heard about the kidnap kingpin.

In a viral video after he was picked-up in Kano State, Wadume said he was released by soldiers attached to Battalion 93, Takum, Taraba State,

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From the court filings, the bedrock of the police case is the kidnapping in Takum on February 16, 2019 of a petrol dealer, Usman Garba by the Wadume gang. It indicated that the Wadume gang demanded N200million ransom during negotiations for the release of the petrol dealer.

But despite that relations of the victim were able to hand over N106.3million to the gang, he was killed.

The police stated that the prosecution would rely on the testimonies of 29 witnesses to prove their case.

“DCP Abba Kyari, CSP Baba Khali, ASP Abdulrahman Mohammed, ASP Bawa James, Insps Habila Samuel and Ilarju Joseph are the investigating police officers in this case; they will testify about their findings in the course of the investigation, and will tender exhibits and documents,” the police said in their court filings.

According to the documents, the charges were filed by Simon Lough, Anthony Egwu, and Peter Amadi of the Legal/Prosecution Section of the Force Headquarters in Abuja.

Wadume is charged alongside Tijjani Balarabe, an Army captain and 18 others. Also on the list of defendants are Staff Sgt. David Isaiah; Sgt. Ibrahim Mohammed; Corporal Bartholomew Obanye; Private Mohammed Nura; Lance Corporal Okorozie Gideon; Corporal Markus Michael; Lance Corporal Nvenaweimoeimi Akpagra; Staff Sgt. Abdullahi Adamu; Private Ebele Emmanuel; ASP Aondona Iorbee, Insp. Aliyu Dadje and Auwalu Bala (aka Omo Razor).

Others on the charge sheet are Uba Bala (aka Uba Belu); Ahmad Suleiman (aka Dan Ball); Bashir Waziri (aka Baba Runs); Zubairu Abdullahi (aka Basho); Hafizu Bala (aka Maiwelder); and Rayyanu Abdul. Count one of the charge reads: “That you, Alhaji Hamisu Bala, 33, aka Wadume; Capt. Ahmed Tijjani Balarabe; ASP Aondona Iorbee; Insp. Aliyu Dadje; Auwalu Bala; Uba Bala; Ahmad Suleiman; Bashir Waziri; Zubairu Abdullahi; Rayyanu Abdul and others now at large, between February and April, 2019 at Takum and Ibi, Taraba State, within the jurisdiction of this court, while acting in concert, conspired together to commit felony, to wit: acts of terrorism, by attacking and kidnapping one Usman Garba (aka Mayo), at his filling station in Takum, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 17 of the Terrorism (Prevention) Amendment Act 2013.”

They were also accused of possessing six AK-47 rifles and dealing in prohibited firearms contrary to section 27 (1)(a)(I) and (1)(b)(iii) of the firearms act.

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