Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Taraba kidnap kingpin charged with 16 counts of terrorism, murder and kidnapping

Six months after he was arrested in Kano, Hamisu Bala, suspected Taraba kidnap kingpin has been charged with 16 counts of terrorism, murder and kidnapping.

From the court filings, the bedrock of the police case is the kidnapping in Takum on 16 February 2019 of a petrol dealer Usman Garba by the Wadume gang.

The Wadume gang demanded N200million ransom. Despite that relations of the victim were able to hand over N106.3m, he was killed.

The police stated that the prosecution would rely on the testimonies of 29 witnesses.

“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.

The arrest of Bala, better known as Wadume last year in Taraba, led to the killing of three policemen and a civilian by soldiers at a checkpoint. Wadume then escaped until his re-arrest in Kano.

The Punch, reporting on the charge, said it was 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.