Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
A Federal Excessive Court docket in Abuja heard on Monday how a workforce of troopers, connected to the 93 Battalion in Takum, Taraba State, attacked a police workforce that had gone to arrest a suspected kidnap kinpin, Hamisu Bala (Wadume).
An Assistant Superintendent of Police, Felix Adolije, who stated he led the police workforce despatched to impact the arrest, gave particulars of how his workforce was ambushed by the troopers allegedly led by Captain Tijjani Balarabe.
Adojie, who was testifying as the primary prosecution witness within the trial of Bala and 6 others, stated three policemen and two civilians died whereas 5 different law enforcement officials had been injured within the assault that befell on August 6, 2019 in Ibbi city, Taraba State.
Led in proof by a lawyer from the Federal Ministry of Justice, Magaji Labaran, Adojie thanked God for spearing his life to allow him recall all that transpired.
The witness stated his workforce’s involvement in that case started when a petition was referred to it by the Inspector Common of Police (IGP)
Adojie stated it was said within the petition some kidnap suspects, who had been unidentified then, made a requirement of N200m ransom from relations of their sufferer.
The witness stated when his workforce analysed the 4 cellphone numbers with which the suspects had been making the demand, it led his workforce to “a gentle goal” in Taraba State, Bashir, who in flip led them to Wadume in Ibbi, on August 6, 2019.
Adojie stated his workforce, made up of six officers, later left it base in Abuja for Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, on August 5, 2019.
The witness stated his workforce first reported on the headquarters of the Taraba State Police Command in Jalingo on August 6, 2019 to temporary the Commissioner of Police, about their mission.
He stated his workforce was given an introduction letter to the Space Command in Wukare the place their arrival was documented and had been documented to again their mission to Ibbi Police Station, from the place they might got down to arrest Wadume.
Adojie defined the individual he known as the “gentle goal” was named Bashir, (who’s now deceased.)
Hesaid Bashir led them to Wadume’s home in Ibbi, Taraba State, including: “The pointer was with us and he led us to the road the place the principle goal lived.
“On getting there, he pointed to the principle goal from contained in the bus. So I got here down with Inspector Sani in our full uniforms with out our cap and jacket. I requested Sani to stay standing by the bus.
“I introduced my id card out. I realised that the goal was with 10 boys mendacity down on the mat. I confirmed him my id card. I advised him we had been policemen from IRT (Intelligence Response Workforce) in Abuja.
“I advised him that there was a case we had been investigating and that his consideration was wanted in Abuja. Neither he nor any of his boys requested any query. Quietly, he received up and adopted me to our bus.
“I requested him to comply with us and he adopted us. There was no argument between us and anyone. We entered the bus. I requested certainly one of my boys contained in the bus to restrain him. Then we drove again to the police station.”
Adojie added he knowledgeable the Station Officer that that they had accomplished their mission and was heading again to Abuja.
He stated unknown to them, the troopers on the final of the three checkpoints they encountered whereas arriving the city, had been alerted about their mission.
“As we had been going again, we received to the final military checkpoint which we encountered after we had been coming in.
The checkpoint was the primary as we had been going out. They (the troopers) requested us to cease. They noticed us in uniform. Then, one of many troopers requested us the place we had been coming from.
“We advised him we had been those whom they handed about 30 minutes earlier. Then certainly one of them requested us if we didn’t know that the individual in our automobile was a really influential individual within the city?
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“I already alighted when he requested me that query. I stated I didn’t know who even advised him that we had made an arrest and I advised him, ‘please we’re nonetheless going far, enable us to go’.
“Then, he reluctantly eliminated our barrier to permit us to go. On attending to the second checkpoint mounted by the cellular policemen, they solely requested us if we had been by means of. And we stated sure.
“Then we headed in the direction of the final one mounted by troopers. As we had been in between the cellular policemen’s checkpoint and that of the troopers’ forward, I noticed a Sharon bus with full gentle.”
He stated the troopers’ on the checkpoint eliminated the barrier with out asking any query, including that their automobile had barely handed after they began listening to gunshots.
The witness stated: “I noticed a military Hilux with gun mounted on high, overtook the Sharon bus.
“The troopers began firing. Then our bus began staggering and somersaulted 3 times. I used to be seated with the motive force within the entrance. He fell to my aspect. Then I struggled, by the grace of God, and got here out of the automobile.
“I left my AK-47 and pistol contained in the automobile. I began working. There have been heaps of yam on the opposite aspect of the highway.”
The witness advised the courtroom he managed to scamper to a tree for security and shortly eliminated his uniform.
He stated his colleague, Sergeant Emmanuel, whom he got here throughout across the place, additionally eliminated his uniform.
Adojie stated the time was round 7 or 7.30pm. He stated he and Emmanuel handed the evening beneath the tree.
The witness stated they discovered their strategy to the principle highway between 5.30am to 6am the next day.
He added that on attending to the principle highway, they sought the assistance of a motorcyclist to cause them to the closest village.
The witness stated: “Instantly we received to the village, he (the motorcyclist) began talking their language. All their youths and males began coming in the direction of us with cutlasses saying we had been the abductors of yesterday.
“That was the place I acquired the best beating of my life. Once they had been beating me, I held on to my id card telling them that we had been policemen from Abuja.”
He stated the youth chief within the village rescued him and his colleague from the mob and took them the place some cellular policemen had been.
“The cellular policemen known as the Space Command which introduced a patrol automobile and conveyed us to Common Hospital Wukare,” he stated.
On the place Wadume was after the assault, Adolije stated: “He was with us within the bus earlier than the assault. When the bus somersaulted and everyone ran for his pricey life, I didn’t know his place at the moment.”
When requested if he may recognise Wadume, the witness pointed to the defendant within the dock.
On the conclusion of Adojie’s testimony, attorneys to the defendants elected to return one other day for cross examination of the witness.
The defence attorneys – Ishaka Dikko (SAN), M. I Toga,Abass Ajiya, Kuzaet Magaji and F. O Fagbemi – later moved the bail functions they filed for his or her shoppers, which Labaran objected to.
Justice Binta Nyako adjourned until July 1 for ruling on the bail utility and continuation of trial.
In the meantime the prosecution didn’t say something on Monday after what was delaying the manufacturing of the 10 troopers, together with Capt. Balarabe, who had been named within the earlier cost filed.
The 10 troopers, who had been initially charged with Wadume and 9 others, had their names faraway from an amended cost filed when the AGF took over the case from the police prosecution workforce that began the case.