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AGF removes names of 10 soldiers, policeman from Wadume kidnapping charges as he takes over case

Valentine Chinyem

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The Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation has dropped the names of 10 soldiers and one police officer named as accomplices in the kidnapping charges involving an alleged Taraba State kidnapping kingpin, Bala Hamisu, also known as Wadume, and others.

The amendment to the charges announced at the Federal High Court in Abuja by the prosecuting counsel, Mr Shuaibu Labaran, on Monday, came days after the AGF, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), took over the case from the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, on June 3, 2020.

The development saw the number of defendants reduced from 20 to seven and the number of counts dropped from 16 to 13.

The soldiers, whose names were removed in the amended charges are, Captain Tijjani Balarabe, Staff Sgt. David Isaiah; Sgt. Ibrahim Mohammed; Corporal Bartholomew Obanye; Private Mohammed Nura; Lance Corporal Okorozie Gideon; Corporal Markus Michael; L/Corporal Nvenaweimoeimi Akpagra; and Staff Sgt. Abdullahi Adamu, and Private Ebele Emmanuel.

A policeman’s name, ASP Aondona Iorbee, as well as the name of one Ahmad Suleiman (aka Dan Ball); was also struck off the charge.

The defence lawyers for the remaining defendants did not oppose the amendment on Monday.

Following the approval of the amendment by the judge, Justice Binta Nyako, the amended 13 counts were read to the remaining seven defendants, who pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The remaining defendants arraigned were Inspector Aliyu Dadje, who was a station officer at police headquarters in Ibi Local Government Area of Taraba State, Wadume, Auwalu Bala, aka Omo Razor, Uba Bala (aka Uba Belu); Bashir Waziri, (aka Baba runs); Zubairu Abdullahi (aka Basho); Hafizu Bala (aka Maiwelder); and Rayyanu Abdul.

Justice Nyako adjourned the matter till June 22 for trial and possibly the hearing of the defendants’ bail applications.

She also ordered the defendants to remain in the custody of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Abuja.