Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The trial of the Taraba State kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu, popularly called Wadume, was yesterday stalled following the absence of the trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako.
Although Wadume and six other co-defendants were produced in court yesterday, the scheduled trial could not proceed.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), who took over the case from the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Muhammad Adamu, had in an amended charge, dropped the names of 10 soldiers, including Captain Tijani Balaraba who were initially charged for the alleged crime.
Accordingly, the soldiers were not present in court yesterday when the case came up.
The withdrawal of the soldiers from the charge had attracted wide condemnations from the public, including members of the families of the victims killed by the soldiers, who called for their arrest and prosecution.
The absence of the judge forced an adjournment of the case to July 1.
The 10 soldiers attached to the 93 Battalion in Takum, Taraba State, allegedly helped Wadume to escape from the policemen taking him to Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, after he was arrested in Ibi, a part of the state, on August 6, 2019.
The troops led by Captain Tijjani Balarabe allegedly killed three policemen and two civilians, while five other police officers were injured, during the soldiers’ attack.
Those killed in the attack included Inspector Mark Ediale, 36, Sgt. Dahiru Musa, 40, Owolabi Babajide, 24, Farouk Bashir, 30, and Usman Danazumi, 44.