The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has slammed a16-count charge bordering on terrorism, murder, kidnapping and gun-running against Taraba kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu, also known as Wadume, Captain Tijjani Balarabe and 18 others.
Also on the list of defendants are Staff Sgt. David Isaiah; Sgt. Ibrahim Mohammed; Corporal Bartholomew Obanye; Private Mohammed Nura; Lance Corporal Okorozie Gideon; Corporal Markus Michael; L/Corporal Nvenaweimoeimi Akpagra; Staff Sgt. Abdullahi Adamu; Private Ebele Emmanuel; ASP Aondona Iorbee and Inspector Aliyu Dadje and Auwalu Bala, aka Omo Razor.
Others in the charge sheet are Uba Bala (aka Uba Belu); Ahmad Suleiman (aka Dan Ball); Bashir Waziri, (aka Baba runs); Zubairu Abdullahi (aka Basho); Hafizu Bala (aka Maiwelder); and Rayyanu Abdul.
They were charged for the killing of three policemen and two civilians attached to the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team, who had gone to Ibi, Taraba State, to arrest the kidnap kingpin.
Five other police officers were injured in the attack by soldiers attacked to Battalion 93, Takum, led by Capt Balarabe, on August 6, 2019.
The attack led to the escape of the kidnap kingpin who was later re-arrested at a village in Kano.
It was gathered that the criminal charge dated February 3, 2020, which is coming six months after the incident, was filed by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Simon Lough; Anthony Egwu, and Peter Amadi, all of the Legal/Prosecution Section, Force Headquarters, Abuja.
It was learned that the charges against the suspects would be filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, this week.
Count one of the charge sheet 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.”
The defendants were also accused of possessing six AK-47 rifles and dealing in prohibited firearms contrary to Section 27 (1)(a)(I) and (1)(b)(iii) of the Firearms Act Cap F28, Laws of the Federation, 2004.
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.
They allegedly demanded a N200 million ransom and killed the victim, despite receiving N106.3 million.
“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.
Among exhibits attached to the charge were the call logs showing the phone communication between Wadume, Balarabe and the police officers at Ibi Police Station in Taraba State.
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.
Balarabe, 46, in his statement, admitted that Wadume once gave him fish worth N50,000, adding that he also gave him N200,000 to repair a patrol van which was having mechanical problems.
Recall that the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, had on the order of President Muhammadu Buhari, constituted a panel to investigate the circumstances that led to the killing of the three Police operatives of the IGP Intelligence Response Team, IRT.
The panel’s report culminated in the charges filed against the suspects by the Police.