Wadume: AGF drops names of 10 soldiers from kidnapping charge

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Edozie Udeojo,Abuja

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN), has dropped the names of 10 soldiers and one police officer in the charge against the alleged kidnapping kingpin, Bala Hamiasu ,also known as Wadume. They were earlier named as accomplices in the alleged crime.

The name of the officers were no longer contained in an amended charge  as announced by the prosecuting counsel, Mr Shuaibu Labaran before Justice Binta Nyako ,of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court yesterday. The office of the AGF last week took over the case from the Inspector -General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu and reduced the number of defendants from 20 to seven and the number of counts dropped from 16 to 13.

The soldiers, whose names were removed in the amended charges are, Captain Tijani Balarabe, Staff Sgt. David Isaiah; Sgt. Ibrahim Mohammed; Corporal Bartholomew Obanye; Private Mohammed Nura; Lance Corporal Okorozie Gideon; Corporal Markus Michael; L/Corporal Nvenaweimoeimi Akpagra; and Staff Sgt. Abdullahi Adamu and Private Ebele Emmanuel. Equally struck out from the charge were an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Aondona Iorbee and Ahmad Suleiman (aka Dan Ball). The defence team did not oppose the amendment.

Consequently,  the amended 13 counts were read to the remaining seven defendants and they pleaded not guilty to the charges. Those arraigned were Inspector Aliyu Dadje, who was a station officer at police headquarters in Ibi Local Government Area of Taraba State, Wadume, Auwalu Bala, aka Omo Razor, Uba Bala (aka Uba Belu); Bashir Waziri, (aka Baba runs); Zubairu Abdullahi (aka Basho); Hafizu Bala (aka Maiwelder); and Rayyanu Abdul.

Meanwhile, Justice Nyako has adjourned the matter till June 22 for trial and possibly the hearing of the defendants’ bail applications. The judge ordered the defendants to remain in the custody of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Abuja.

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