Wadume: Court orders Buratai to release 10 Army officers for arraignment

Bala Wadume: the chief suspect

The Federal High Court, on Monday in Abuja ordered the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai to produce the army officers who were alleged to have aided the escape of a suspected kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Bala (Wadume) in Court.

Justice Binta Nyako ordered the Chief of Army Staff or any other person whose custody the suspects were to provide them in court by March 30.

She said that the court shall enrol the order to the prosecution so that they could serve it to the parties involved.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Inspector General (IG) of Police , Mr Mohammed Adamu, filed a 16 counts charge against one Taraba State kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu (aka Wadume), alongside 19 other suspects.

The charge, dated Feb. 3, borders on terrorism, murder, kidnapping and illegal arms possession.

The suspects ordered by the Judge to appear before the  court are the 2nd to 11th respondents in the charge. 

Soldiers of 93 Battalion, Takum, Taraba State, had on August 6, 2019 shot members of a special anti-crime squad from the Inspector General of Police Office, who had arrested Wadume and were transporting him to the state police command, Jalingo, for interrogation, killing three policemen and two civilians on the spot.

Earlier, Prosecution Counsel, Mr Simon Lough had told the court that on Jan 7, 2020 the IG of Police wrote to the Chief of Army Staff and Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, seeking for the release of the 2nd to 11th defendants to the police for the purpose of arraignment and prosecution in court.

He however said that, although the served letters were acknowledged, the defendants were not released to appear before the court for arraignment.

In relation to Section 87 and 159 of ACJA 2015, Lough further urged the court to compel those in custody of the defendants to produce them in court on the next adjourned date.