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IN TARABA: Police file terrorism charge against Army chief, Wandume, 18 others

Nigeria's Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu has slammed a 16-count charge bordering on terrorism, murder, kidnapping and illegal arms running against the Taraba kidnap kingpin Bala Hamisu known as Wadume, an army captain Tijjani Balarabe and 18 others.

The charges were filed six months after Wadume was allegedly assisted to escape on August 6, 2019, by soldiers attached to   led by Balarabe. Wadume escaped when the policemen, who arrested him, were attacked by the troops.

Three policemen and two civilians were killed during the incident, while five other police officers were injured.

On the list of defendants is 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 Insp. 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.

Police, in the suit against the defendants, said they "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.

The eyewitnesses said Wadume's gang allegedly demanded a N200m ransom and killed the victim despite receiving N106.3m.

One of the police's evidence against the defendants is the call logs of phone conversations between Wadume, Balarabe and the police officers at Ibi Police Station.

In his statement, Balarabe admitted that Wadume once gave him fish worth N50,000. Balarabe said he also gave Wandume N200,000 to repair a patrol van which had mechanical problems.

One of the files showed that Wadume and the army captain exchanged about 166 phone calls. Documents also showed that Wadume also made several calls to the Ibi Divisional Police Officer.

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