Alleged Taraba kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu (aka Wadume) will open his defence in the terrorism charge preferred against him at the Federal High Court, Abuja, on May 18.
The Federal Government arraigned Wadume and his co-defendants on June 8, 2020 on an amended charge of 13 counts bordering on terrorism, kidnapping and related offence.
The others are Aliyu Dadje (a police Inspector), Auwalu Bala (aka Omo Razor), Uba Bala (aka Uba Delu) Bashir Waziri (aka Baba Runs), Zubairu Abdullahi (aka Basho) and Rayyanu Abdul.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Tuesday, the prosecution, led by Shuiabu Labaran called its sixth and final witness, Inspector Ben Anthony, a police investigator.
Anthony who was led in evidence by Yetunde Cole told the court that he was part of a team that recovered four AK-47 rifles from Wadume’s brother Uba Bala at Ibi in Taraba.
“While at Ibi, we got an information that Wadume called his brother Uba and asked him to remove the guns from where he kept them.
“We left Ibi for Uba’s house and immediately he sighted us at the front of his house, he attempted to run but we followed him and arrested him.
“We then asked him where the guns were and he took us to an uncompleted building and showed us where he kept the guns.
“He gave us a hoe and cutlass to dig the place and I dug it myself and brought out a sack that contained four AK-47 rifles,” Anthony told the court.
Under cross examination, Anthony said that the guns were released by the court to the police for safe keeping.
He also told the court that he did not have evidence of the call Wadume made to his brother, Uba asking him to remove the guns from where he kept them.
At this point, Labaran informed the court that the prosecution had closed its case as Anthony was its last witness.
Counsel to Wadume, Mr Dikko Ishaku (SAN) along with other defence counsel, however, said that they were not ready to open their case.
“We are not ready for defence since the matter was adjourned for continuation of the prosecution’s case. We ask for a date to open our defence,” Ishaku said.
Mr Y. Dangana, counsel to the third defendant, however, told the court that his client would not be opening his defence but would rather file a no case submission.
The trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako told all defendants who intended to file no case submission that they had 21 days within which to do so.
Justice Nyako adjourned the matter until May 18 for defendants to open their defence or file no case submission.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Attorney-General of the Federation, (AGF) and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami took over the matter from the police on June 3.
NAN further recalls that the former Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had filed a 16-count charge bordering on terrorism, murder, kidnapping and illegal arms running against Wadume and the others.
They were accused of conspiring to commit felony, to wit: acts of terrorism, by attacking and kidnapping one Usman Garba, aka Mayo, at his filling station in Takum, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 17 of the Terrorism (Prevention) Amendment Act 2013.”
They were also accused of possessing six AK-47 rifles and dealing in prohibited firearms contrary to Section 27 (1)(a)(I) and (1)(b)(iii) of the Firearms Act 2004.