The Attorney-General of the Federation, (AGF) and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami has taken over the prosecution of alleged Taraba kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu (aka Wadume), Capt. Tijjani Balarabe and 18 others.
At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, Mr Shuaibu Labaran, a lawyer from the Ministry of Justice told the court that the AGF has taken over the prosecution of the matter. Labaran said that the AGF needed time to look at the case file before re-arraigning the defendants and prayed the court for a short adjournment.
The counsel said the adjournment was to enable the prosecutors to put their house in order. “The AGF has taken over the prosecution of this case. We have received the file and noticed that there are about 20 defendants from the charge. ” So there is need for us to review the charge and also liaise with the arresting agency to ensure that all the defendants are brought to court.
“We will do all that is necessary to ensure that justice is done in the matter,” he said. The trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako adjourned the matter until June 8 for re-araignment. Recall that the 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 arraigned on March 16. Count one of the charge read, “That you, Alhaji Hamisu Bala, 33, aka Wadume; Capt. Ahmed Tijjani Balarabe; ASP Aondona Iorbee; Insp. Aliyu Dadje; Auwalu Bala; Uba Bala; Ahmad Suleiman; Bashir Waziri; Zubairu Abdullahi; Rayyanu Abdul and others now at large, between February and April 2019 at Takum and Ibi, Taraba, within the jurisdiction of this court, while acting in concert, conspired together 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.