Eerie details of Wadume's trial *How soldiers made me brake handcuffs - witness

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has heard how soldiers engaged a welder to help secure the escape of suspected Taraba kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu (aka Wadume), as startling details continues to tumble down over the gory incident.

The police claimed a team of policemen had gone to Taraba State to arrest Wadume but was ambushed bysoldiers allegedly led by Captain Tijani Balarabe, who later set the kidnap suspect free.

Testifying on Wednesday at the resumed hearing in the trial of Wadume and six others, a welder, Hafizu Bala said he was engaged by the soldiers to cut the handcuff with which the police had restrained Wadume, reports The Nation.

Those being tried with Wadume are  Auwalu Bala (aka Omo Razor), Uba Bala (aka Uba Belu), Bashir Waziri (aka Baba runs); Zubairu Abdullahi (aka Basho) and Rayyanu Abdul.

The defendants are accused, in the 13-count he amended charge, marked FHC/ABJ/CR/30/2020 of engaging in acts of  terrorism, murder, kidnapping and illegal arms running.

Led in evidence by lead prosecutor, Magaji Labaran, Bala, who was the second prosecution witness, spoke in Hausa, but had his testimony translated into English language.

Bala said: “I am a welder and resident of Ibi in Taraba state. I came to testify about what happened.

“On August 6, 2019, I was sitting in my shop when a motorcycle rider came and took me to go and break padlock for him.

“The rider was a soldier man. We went to military camp. We went there and the road was blocked. But the motorcycle rider showed them my tools and handsaw before they allowed us to pass.

“After we went inside, we went straight to Capt. Balarabe’s house. We met Alhaji Hamisu Wadume with two military men, with other people inside. I met him with handcuff in his hands and leg.

“When I went inside he was sitting on a chair, I told them that where he was sitting will not be comfortable for me to do the work, that he should sit on a double chair.

“What they brought me for was to break padlock but what I saw was a handcuff. One of the military man asked him to stand for photograph.

“Alhaji stood and raised his hand for the picture. After which I started working on the handcuff. Eventually, I was able to cut off the handcuff.

“After that, I did not do any other thing, I went home. There is one DCO that assisted me to cut the handcuff,” Bala said.

At the conclusion of Bala’s testimony, Labaran the third prosecution witness,  Ahmad Suleiman (a.k.a Dan Ball), who gave details how Capt. Balarabe called him to assist him to retrieve a rifle from one of the defendants.

Suleiman said he is a businessman and a resident of Ibi in Taraba State. He also spoke in Hausa language.

The witness said: “I came to testify about what I know of this case. On August 6, 2019, I was attending meeting of old boys at Government Secondary School, Ibi, when Tanimu called and told me that some kidnappers came to kidnap Alhaji Hamisu Wadume.

“After that, I told my classmates what happened. I observed that everyone became worried and eager to leave the place.

“When I got back to my shop around 8:30pm, one Captain Balarabe Tijjani called me and asked if I know one Baba Runs, I said yes.

“He told me that one of their riffle was with him and I should meet him and tell him to bring back their rifle.

“After I met him, he told me that he picked it, and had already returned it to where he picked it. I then called back Capt. Balarabe and told him exactly what he told me.

“He told me that I should tell Baba Run to return back their riffle to him. But Baba Runs said he was afraid and cannot return it.

“I still told Capt. Balarabe exactly what Baba Runs told me. Baba Runs then said unless he will give me the riffle to go and return to them.

“Capt. Balarabe said no problem that I should follow Baba Runs to collect the riffle. I then went and collected the riffle and called Capt. Balarabe.

“He came together with one other military man, they took the riffle and went away. Captain told me that the riffle is their own. After then, I went back to where I do my business”.

When asked if he knows Baba Runs, Suleima identified him as the 5th Defendant in the dock.

Earlier, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, Felix Adolije, who testified as the first prosecution witness on Monday, was discharged on Wednesday after he was cross-examined by the defence lawyers – Ishaka Dikko (SAN), M. I Toga, Y. Dandana, Amanze Amanze, Abass Ajiya, Kuzaet Magaji and F. O Fagbemi.

Adolijie led the police team that had gone to arrest Wadume but were attacked in the incident that led to loss of lives.

Also on Wednesday, Justice Binta Nyako gave a ruling, rejecting the bail application filed by the defendants.
Justice Nyako ordered that the defendants be be transferred from custody of Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, to the Kuje prison in Abuja.

The judge, who granted accelerated hearing in the case,  ordered the Director-General of Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) to accord the defendants access to medical facilities.
She adjourned till July 7 for continuation of trial.



Source The Nation

Posted on July, 1 2020

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