By: Ojochenemi Simon
The case of the Taraba State suspected kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu, popularly known as Wadume has been taken over by the office of the Attorney-General of Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
Wadume was dragged to the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on the 16-count criminal charge bordering on terrorism, murder, kidnapping and illegal arms by the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu on the 3rd of February, 2020 alongside 19 others.
The case came up yesterday before Justice Binta Nyako and only six appellant were present at the court.
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami has taken over the case and has on Tuesday received the case file from the police, although Labaran Magaji, a lawyer at the AGF office therefore call for an adjournment to allow him work towards bringing all accused for the next adjournment.
Labaran Magaji said “The AGF office applied to take over the persecution of the criminal charge. We were handed over the file on Tuesday. The case has about 20 defendants, but only six defendants are present in the court.
“In the circumstances, we shall be asking for a short adjournment for the purpose of bringing all the suspects named in the charge.
“The prosecution shall do the needful to ensure that the case takes off immediately”
Justice Nyako had instructed the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai to make available the 10 army officers for the criminal prosecution just has he adjourned the matter to the 8th of June 2020.
Simon Lough, a lawyer revealed to the court that army authorities ‘snubbed’ the letter by the police requesting the 10 defendants to be produced for arraignment. The soldiers since January 2020 have failed to comply.
The Prosecution said “Sections 89 and 159 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, empower my lord to compel The Chief of Army Staff to produce the 2nd to the 11th defendants for prosecution.
“On the basis of the provisions, we, therefore, urge my lord to issue an order to the chief of Army Staff to produce the defendants for arraignment.
The accused persons were alleged for the killing of three policemen and two civilians that were joined to the Inspector General of Police’s intelligence response team, that went on an assignment in the ibi area of Taraba state to arrest the kidnap kingpin.
On August 6th 2019, Soldiers from Battalion 93, Takum, led by Capt Balarabe were reported to had aided the escape of Wadume and killing of two policemen.
The soldiers among the defendants are Captain Tijjani Balarabe; Staff Sgt. David Isaiah;Sgt. Ibrahim Mohammed; Corporal Batholomew Obanye; Private Mohammed Nura; Lance Corporal Okorozie Gideon; Corporal Markus Micheal; L/Corporal N venaweimoeimi Akpagra; Staff Sgt. Abdullahi Adamu, and Private Ebele Emmanuel.
The 10 defendants listed: Wadume, ASP Aondona Iorbee; Inspector Aliyu Dadje; Auwalu Bala, aka Omo Razor; Uba Bala (aka Uba Belu); Ahmad Sulemain (aka Dan Ball); Bashir Waziri,(aka Baba runs); Zubairu Abdullahi (aka Basho); Hafizu Bala (aka Maiwelder); and Rayyanu Abdul.