Wadume: Army Hijacked My Bus, Pursued And Killed the Policemen - Driver
A commercial driver Haruna Jafaru, whose bus was used by the soldiers, led by Captain Tijani Balarabe, involved in the gruesome of police Operatives dispatched to arrest notorious kidnapper, Bala Hamisu, also known as Wadume, has disclosed that the army team commandeered his bus before pursuing and subsequently killing the policemen and their civilian team members.
Jafaru, a native of Ibbi, Wadume’s home town, who witnessed the killing by soldiers, disclosed while narrating the ordeal in a statement made to the police. According to the 36 year old bus driver, the troop ordered him to chase after the police vehicle in an attempt to rescue the kidnap kingpin.
Jafaru, added that before being commandeered, he was hired by one Bashir Waziri, also known as Baba Runs, to take him to a military checkpoint on the Ibbi-Takum Road. It was in the process the soldiers compelled him to chase after the police bus.
“On getting to the army checkpoint, the soldiers who blocked the road said I must take them and go after a bus and if I failed to do so, anything could happen to me,” he narrated. I had no choice but to convey them and we started pursuing the (police) bus till we got to Gidan Waya and the soldier in the front seat started firing at the bus from my Ford minibus with registration number, Taraba, ARD 468 XA, till the police bus fell. Two other vehicles, an Army Hilux van and a private car, came and they continued firing at the bus.
I was inside my vehicle when I saw someone come out of the bus with police IRT (Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team) jacket and hands in the air but the soldiers were still firing their guns. Then I turned my bus to go back to Ibbi. Baba Runs took a gun and stopped me and went with me to Ibbi,” Jafaru narrated.
The IRT team arrested Wadume for allegedly kidnapping and killing one Usman Garba, alias Mayo, even after receiving a rabsom of N106.3m. The policemen were however, attacked by and killed the soldiers, led by Balarabe who subsequently released and set free an already handcuffed Wadume.
In his confessional statement, Wadume identified 10 soldiers and nine other men as accomplices. They include Balarabe, Privates Mohammed Nura, Ebele Emmanuel. Corporals Markus Michael, Bartholomew Obanye, Lance Corporals Okorozie Gideon, Nvenaweimoeimi Akpagra and Sgt. Ibrahim Mohammed.
Others are Staff Sgts David Isaiah and Abdullahi Adamu.
The police have since arrested the Divisional Crime Officer, Ibbi Police Station, ASP Aondona Iorbee; the station officer, Inspector Aliyu Dadje and one Ahmad Suleman, alias Dan Ball.
Other accomplices arrested by the police include Auwalu Bala, Uba Bala, Bashir Waziri, Zubairu Abdullahi, Rayyanu Abdul and Hafizu Bala, the welder who helped in removing Wadume’s handcuffs.
Though 20 suspects were arraigned by the police over their involvement, the criminal charges against the soldiers have been dropped by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, prompting families of the victims to cry foul while demanding justice.