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Court orders Buratai to produce army officers who ‘aided escape’ of Wadume

Court orders Buratai to produce army officers who ‘aided escape’ of Wadume
March 16
19:31 2020

A federal high court in Abuja has ordered Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, to produce for prosecution, the army officers who allegedly facilitated the escape of Hamisu Bala, a suspected kidnap kingpin better known as Wadume.

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Binta Nyako, a judge, gave the order following an application filed by the police in the case involving the attack on some of their men on August 6, 2019 in Taraba state.

The police charged Wadume with 16 counts of terrorism, murder and kidnapping after officers from the intelligence response team of the inspector-general of police had him over his “involvement in kidnappings”.

However, some soldiers attached to battalion 93, Takum, led by Tijani Balarabe, an army captain, were said to have set Wadume free and subsequently killed some of the officers who arrested him.

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

But Simon Lough, prosecution counsel, told the court that the Nigerian Army had refused to release the suspected officers for prosecution despite a request by the police who is prosecuting them.

While urging the court to grant the order for their release, the police counsel said section 87 and 159 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act ( ACJA),  2015, gives the court powers to compel any suspect who is standing trial to appear in court.

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He asked that the 2nd – 11th defendants be released to face trial.

Wadume and some other suspects were brought to court for arraignment. However, the defendants could not take their plea due to the absence of the officers whose names are joined in the charge sheet.

Apart from Tijjani Balarabe, other officers are David Isaiah, a staff sergeant; Ibrahim Mohammed, a sergeant; Bartholomew Obanye, a corporal; Mohammed Nura, a private; Okorozie Gideon, a lance corporal; Markus Michael and Nvenaweimoeimi Akpagra, both lance corporals; Abdullahi Adamu, a staff sergeant and Ebele Emmanuel, a staff sergeant.

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