We retrieved six guns from Wadume, prosecution witness tells court

The 5th Prosecution witness, Inspector Samuel Abdullahi, in the alleged kidnapping trial of Hamisu Bala Aka Wadume on Monday told the court that his team retrieved six guns from the kidnap kingpin.

Abdulahi gave the evidence when he was tendering six guns as exhibits before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja to prove the allegation of kidnapping against Wadume and his co-defendants.

The Federal Government is currently prosecuting Wadume and his co-defendants on a 13-count amended criminal charge bordering on terrorism, kidnapping and collection of N106 million ransom, among others.

Other defendants are: Police Inspector, Aliyu Dadje, Auwalu bala (aka omo razor); Uba Bala (aka Uba Delu); Bashir Wazlri (aka baba runs); Zubairu Abdullahi (aka Basho) and Rayyanu Abdul.

They have however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges brought against them.

While being led in evidence, the prosecution witness told the court that his team that investigated the matter involving Wadume and his codefendants retrieved the six guns from the kidnap kingpin.

According to the witness, Wadume instructed Rayyanu Abdul, the 7th defendant, based in Ibi to move the guns, which belongs to him, to a safe place, but when told that they needed money for spiritual prayers over his matter, Wadume ordered that two of the rifles be sold to raise money for that purpose.

He said Bashir Wazlri (aka Babaruns), the 5th defendant was in the Sharon vehicle that the military used in chasing the police operatives, which they shot and summersaulted, killing three policemen and two civilians.

The prosecution witness insisted that the six guns were retrieved from Bashir Waziri and Uba Bala, who were also defendants in the matter and kept in the custody of the exhibit keeper of the Nigeria Police.

The said guns which were brought to court, and tendered through the witness were admitted by the court as exhibits B, B1 to B5.

At the Monday proceedings, attempt to tender the statements the defendants made to the police were objected to by their counsel.

Both counsels to the second and the sixth defendants objected to the admissibility of the statements on the grounds that the statements of their client were obtained by inducement and torture, arguing further that the statements were written in English language while their clients made them in Hausa language, counsel to the 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7 defendants said they will address the issue in their final address.

In view of the call for trial within trial by the 2nd and 6th defendants, the court conducted the trial within trial to ascertain whether the statements were obtained by inducement or torture as alleged by the defendants.

It would be recalled that Justice Nyako denied the defendants bail while delivering ruling in their bail application because she, “saw no reason to grant them bail,” having giving their trial accelerated hearing.

The soldiers who were initially charged along with Wadume had their names removed from the charge sheet as defendants by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, which took over the prosecution of the matter from the police.

The prosecution has so far called five witnesses in its efforts to prove its allegations against the defendants.

Meanwhile, the trial Judge, Binta Nyako, has adjourned till July 15, 2020 for continuation of trial.

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