The Taraba State alleged kidnap kingpin,Bala Hamisu popularly called ‘Wadume’ was on Monday arraigned in court by the Nigerian Government alongside six others on 13 counts bordering on terrorism
Penpushing reports that, the prosecuting counsel, Shuiabu Labaran, prayed the court to have the charge read to the defendants, adding that the defendants were 20, but since the prosecution had not gotten a hold of all of them (defendants), the 16-count charge earlier preferred on them was amended to 13 counts for the purpose of arraigning seven of the defendants.
The court read the charge to the defendants which include: Aliyu Dadje, a police inspector, Auwalu Bala, Uba Bala, Bashir Waziri, Zubairu Abdullahi and Rayyanu Abdul,but they all pleaded not guilty, while the prosecuting counsel prayed the court for a date for trial to begin.
“Having pleaded not guilty to the charge, the prosecution is asking for a date to commence trial and prove all the allegations against the defendants.The charge before the court borders on kidnapping, detention, collecting of N106 million ransom, being in possession of unregistered firearms and aiding and abetting criminals, “he said.
Penpushing further reports that, Labaran told the court that the prosecution will depend on testimonies from investigating officers, documentary evidence and defendants’ statements to prove its case.
‘That you Hamisu Bala, (aka Wadume) of Ibi Local Government Area, Taraba between February and April 2019 at Takum and Ibi Local Government Area, within the jurisdiction of this court, knowingly seized and detained one Usman Garba at his filling station in Takum, demanded and collected a ransom of N106 million before he was released”, count one reads.
Penpushing also reports that, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had filed a 16-count charge bordering on terrorism, murder, kidnapping and illegal arms running against Mr Wadume and the others, while the Attorney-General of the Federation, (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, took over the matter from the police on June 3..
The defendants were accused of conspiring 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.”
Penpushing reports that, the accused persons 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 2004.
Meanwhile, the trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako, adjourned the matter until June 22 for commencement of trial.