Molly Kilete, Abuja
More revelations have emerged on how notorious kidnapper Hamisu Wadume was arrested late Monday night by operatives of the Inspector General of Police’s (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
Daily Sun gathered that the kidnapper was arrested at his uncle’s house. The uncle is said to be a primary school teacher in Kano. Wadume had been in hiding at his house since the deadly incident of August 6, when he had been declared wanted.
He was arrested alongside seven members of his gang, including his uncle who harboured him. The seven suspects were arrested in Zaria, Kaduna, Abuja and Taraba. The arrest of the suspects paved the way for Wadume’s eventual arrest.
Police operatives are said to have recovered 13 cars and over 20 houses in Taraba and Nassarawa states belonging to Wadume. It was further gathered that 400 cows belonging to him had been relocated before the police arrived. All the recovered vehicles have since being taken to Abuja.
Wadume, a kingpin in organised kidnapping, is reported to have operated three kidnap groups in Taraba and Nassarawa states. The groups are said to report to him, as chief executive, on their day-to-day activities, giving them their directives.
Daily Sun gathered that operatives from the IRT, upon arresting the kidnapper, informed IGP Adamu Mohammed, who asked them to bring the suspect to the Police Force headquarters Tuesday morning.
To ensure the news of the arrest did leak to general police personnel, the IRT team hooded the suspect and took him to the office of the IGP, who personally interviewed him.
He was said to have been smuggled into the police headquarters for fear of being lynched by angry policemen who might want to attack him for killing their colleagues.
He was taken to the police headquarters on the orders of the IGP, who demanded to see the man incriminated in the deaths of his officers. After meeting with the IGP, the suspect was then taken to the Force Public Relations Officer conference room for an interview to prove to the world that he had indeed been rearrested.
Police rearrest notorious kidnap kingpin Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wudume. pic.twitter.com/ubFdMErLTc
— Nigeria Police Force (@PoliceNG) August 20, 2019
Wadume, who does not speak English, has since confessed to the crime in a video in Hausa recorded by the police to confirm his arrest.
The suspect in the video narrated how soldiers on orders of their Commanding Officer, Captain Balarabe Tijani, shot the police operatives from behind, and how the captain took him to his house from the barracks and eventually set him free after inviting a welder to sever his leg chain and hand cuffs. The man at the center of the brutal killing of Captain Balarabe Tijani, happens to be an indigene Of Taraba State, it has been reported.
The police decided to have the suspect’s confession on video, Daily Sun learnt, in order to ensure that the investigating panel set up by the Defence Headquarters, which mostly comprises of only military personnel, would not have the opportunity to issue a potential false report.
Sources hinted that the committee, which has already commenced sitting, was yet to arrest the army captain and the soldiers involved in the killings; while the police have since arrested and detained three of their personnel alleged to have taken part in the killing.
It was gathered that rather than taking the captain into custody, the authorities asked him to report to the office of the Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) on a daily basis. It was not clear whether or not he is being closely monitored by intelligence officers.
Sources say the police have vowed to get to the root of the matter as the IGP and the entire police personnel are resolute to prove that the police are not a “second hand or inferior force,” to the military.
It was gathered that Wadume is ready to reveal his relationship with not only Captain Tijani, but other military operatives as far as the kidnapping is concerned.
To ensure that the kidnap kingpin was arrested alive and brought to book, the IGP is said to have mobilised the best IRT operatives from Rivers, Lagos, Imo, Kaduna states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The Technical Intelligence Unit (TIU) of the Force was also deployed to the fullest to ensure the success of the operation.
The team was said to have travelled across five states including Kaduna, Taraba, Nasarawa before zeroing in on the suspect in Kano where he was eventually arrested.
Upon assembling the detectives, they were briefed on what to do before they embarked on the journey.
Sources say Wadume, a millionaire as a result of his criminal activities, had “empowered” many people in his village with vehicles, motorcycles and other gifts. A move by him to have the traditional ruler of his village appoint him as a youth leader was, however, opposed by prominent citizens in the village, who made it clear that they would not allow a thief to be installed in that position.