The Nigeria Police Force has charged suspected kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Bala, better known as Wadume, with 16 counts of terrorism, murder and kidnapping, six months after his arrest.
Wadume was allegedly assisted to escape on August 6, 2019, by soldiers attached to Battalion 93, Takum, Taraba State, led by an army captain, Tijjani Balarabe. He escaped after he had been arrested by policemen.
Three policemen and two civilians were killed during the incident, while five other police officers were injured.
Wadume was charged alongside Balarabe and 18 others.
They are Staff Sgt. David Isaiah; Sgt. Ibrahim Mohammed; Corporal Bartholomew Obanye; Private Mohammed Nura; Lance Corporal Okorozie Gideon; Corporal Markus Michael; L/Corporal Nvenaweimoeimi Akpagra; Staff Sgt. Abdullahi Adamu; Private Ebele Emmanuel; ASP Aondona Iorbee and Insp. Aliyu Dadje and Auwalu Bala, aka Omo Razor.
Others in 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 read: “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.
The Police said the prosecution would rely on the testimonies of 29 witnesses, some of whom would testify on how one Usman Garba was kidnapped on February 16, 2019 at Takum by Wadume and his gang.
They allegedly demanded a N200 million ransom and killed the victim despite receiving N106.3m.
“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.
Listed as exhibits in the case were the written statements of the defendants, photographs of the victims, autopsy reports, six AK-47 rifles recovered from the gang, three empty shells, one live ammunition and six Volkswagen Sharon buses, and one (Police) Toyota Hiace bus, among others.