Due to the controversies that trailed the arrest of a popular suspected kidnapper, Hamisu Bala Wadume, many have been questioning why he had not been arraigned in court and why the ‘dead’ silent from the Police who lost three of its officers in the build-up to Wadume’s arrest.
Unfortunate Day For Officers On Duty
Wadume who had been on the wanted list of the police for several crimes was first arrested in Taraba by the IGP’s intelligence response team. He was being transported to Abuja on the 6th of August 2019 , when the bus conveying the police officers and the suspected kidnap kingpin was attacked by troops of 93 Battalion in Takum Taraba state.
Hamisu Wadume was freed by the soldiers. While an army captain allegedly gave the order for the killing of the IRT operatives led by inspector Mark Ediale.
The incident, captured on amateur video showed some police officers being lynched to death. The gory footage sparked outrage on social media and the mainstream media.
The disappearance of Wadume, the killing of three police officers and one civilian by soldiers of the Nigerian Army showed glaringly the tension between the Army and the police.
Police Versus Army
The allegations and counter-allegations from the Army and the police made a cross-section of Nigerians to wonder if the insecurity can be tackled when security agents are on each other’s throats.
The Police had in a press statement accused the Army of killing its operatives and release the suspected kidnap kingpin declared wanted for high profile cases including the abduction of prominent an oil barons’ in the State.
However, the Nigerian Army fired back saying its men at 93 Battalion stationed at Takum only responded to a distress call to rescue a kidnapped victim adding that they had no prior knowledge that those they opened fire on were members of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response team who were detailed from Abuja to apprehend Wadume.
The Divisional Police Officer at Ibi on his part responded that he was not aware of any operation by the Force Headquarters giving credence to the distress call from Members of the community.
The Police hierarchy, however, countered the position of the DPO saying “in the viral video, the voice of one of the soldiers was heard loudly proclaiming that the policemen were from the force headquarters.
“The operatives were properly documented not only at the state command but at Wukari and Ibi Divisional Headquarters.
“The Force consider it insensitive for, disrespectful and unpatriotic for the press release by the Army to continue to describe policemen on lawful National Assignment as ‘suspected kidnappers’ long after it had become crystal clear”.
Security experts have noted that the relationship between the Army and police has not been healthy.
The Wadume’s case according to security experts has revived the rivalry between the police and the Army, which has cast doubts on the ability of security operatives to tackle crime and criminalities.
Are security agents in the pay pocket of criminals
On the 12th of August 2019, the reported arrest of the Army captain who ordered the killing of the policemen made headlines. The Army captain was said to have exchanged one hundred and ninety-one telephone conversations with Wadume. The Army captain was reportedly shielding Wadume and was getting money in return.
A security expert, who spoke with Rootstv Nigeria under the condition of anonymity said “a high profile criminal like Wadume must have a strong link in the security setup because some of these high profile criminal operations are not done without backup from powerful people in the security sector.
Manhunt For Wadume
The Intelligent Response Teams’ manhunt to arrest Wadume started in March 2019 when a petition was received from one Sheriff Umar based in Kaduna state. The petitioner said his cousin Usman Mayo was kidnapped on February 15 2019, at Takum, Taraba State by Wadume.
It was alleged that Wadume demanded 200 million Naira for his cousin’s release saying after the payment of a hundred million Naira was made, Wadume did not release his captive, He said the thirty-four-year-old suspected kidnapper was said to have been hell-bent on collecting the said 200 million he demanded.
WHERE IS WADUME
Though the tragic incident and the face-off between police and the Army may not be forgotten in a hurry, Wadume, the notorious criminal suspect who was said to have contested the Taraba State House of Assembly on the platform of the Young Democratic Party during the 2019 general elections has not been seen or heard off since his shocking revelation that he got 13 million Naira from the All Progressives Congress for the 2019 presidential election.
Wadume alleged that a sitting Governor gave him six million during the campaign for elections.
The suspected kidnapper, in one of his interviews, stated that he started as a fish farmer, ventured into arm business, to owning a transport company and being a political thug.
Wadume said “I went into crime when some politicians came for me. According to him, He deceived a lot of politicians who were vying for political offices that he had spiritual power to enable them win their elections.
He said as a youth leader, “the governor met me and I promised to work for him”.
The sitting Governor was said to have given him 2 million Naira at first adding that after they exchanged contacts, he got another N4 million from the governor.
With these allegations lay forth by Wadume against Nigerian politicians, can it be said that there are many Wadume’s that Nigerians do not actually know?
Some believe the reason why he has been rendered incommunicado is to prevent him from revealing some can of worms that may prove disastrous for some politicians.