The Nigeria Police Force has slammed 16 counts bordering on terrorism, murder, kidnapping and illegal arms running against suspected kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu popularly known as Wadume, Captain Tijjani Balarabe and 18 others.
This is coming six months after Wadume was allegedly assisted to escape on August 6, 2019, by soldiers attached to Battalion 93, Takum, Taraba State, led by Balarabe.
Wadume escaped when policemen, who arrested him and was taking him to the state command in Jalingo, capital of Taraba, were attacked by the army personnel.
Three of the police officers were killed by soldiers who claimed they thought the policemen were kidnappers.
Wadume escaped and his whereabouts was unknown until he was rearrested by the police in Kano.
SaharaReporters had on Sunday published a report of the lukewarm attitude of the police and Nigerian Army towards prosecuting the suspect.
The criminal charge dated February 3, 2020 was filed by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Simon Lough; Anthony Egwu, and Peter Amadi, all of the Legal/Prosecution Section, Force Headquarters, Abuja.
The police stated that the prosecution would rely on the testimonies of 29 eyewitnesses, some of whom would testify on how one Usman Garba was kidnapped on February 16, 2019 at Takum by Wadume and his gang.
Among exhibits attached to the charge were the call logs showing the phone communication between Wadume, Balarabe and police officers at Ibi Police Station.
In one instance, the logs showed that Wadume and the army captain exchanged 166 phone calls.
Documents also showed that Wadume also made several calls to the Ibi Divisional Police Officer.
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 allegedly demanded a N200m 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 stated.
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.