Wandume Taraba kidnap kingpin jailed

Hamisu Bala, aka Wadume, the notorious Taraba state based kidnap kingpin has been convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment.

Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court Abuja convicted Wadume on counts two and 10 of the 13-count charge brought against him and six others by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) on behalf of the Federal Government.

Wadume was convicted of escaping from lawful custody and unlawfully dealing in prohibited firearms.

Other accomplice convicted along with him but are to serve three years imprisonment are: Aliyu Dadje (a police inspector), Auwalu Bala (aka omo razor), Uba Bala (aka Uba Delu), Bashir Wazlri (aka baba runs), Zubairu Abdullahi (aka Basho) and Rayyanu Abdul.

Justice Nyako, in the judgment delivered on July 22 this year, on the case marked FHC/ABJ/CR/30/2020, details of which were made available on Monday upheld the case of the prosecution team, led by Labaran Magaji and Mrs. Yetunde Cole, as it relates to five out of the seven defendants.

Wadume was first arrested in Ibi, Taraba State, by members of the Intelligence Response Team of the Inspector-General of Police on August 6, 2019 before soldiers led by Captain Tijjani Balarabe aided his escape from the custody of the policemen conveying him to Abuja.

The Captain Balarabe-led troops attached to the 93 Battalion in Takum, Taraba State, had allegedly shot at the policemen who were conveying Wadume to Abuja shortly after arresting the prime suspect in Ibi, Taraba State on August 6, 2019.

The soldiers killed three policemen and two civilians while five others were wounded in the attack aimed at freeing Wadume from police custody.

The Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr, Abubakar Malami (SAN), removed the names of the soldiers as defendants from the case within days of taking over the case from the police in July 2020.

Wadume escaped with gunshot wounds and fled to Kano after soldiers aided his escape from the police on August 6, 2019.

He was however rearrested in an investigation-led operation at his uncle, Rayyanu Abdul’s house in Kano on August 20, 2019.