The planned arraignment of alleged kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu (aka Wadume) and 19 others on charges of terrorism, murder, kidnapping and illegal arms possession suffered a setback on Monday as military authorities failed to present some of the indicted soldiers.
The Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu had, on February 3, 2020 filed a 16-count charge against Hamisu and others.
They were arrested after the August 6, 2019 attack on members of a special anti-crime squad from the IGP’s office, soldiers of the 93 Battalion, Takum, Taraba State.
The policemen were said to have travelled to Taraba to arrest Wadume and were transporting him to the state police command, Jalingo, for interrogation, when the soldiers reportedly attacked them, killing three policemen and two civilians.
About 10 of the 20 defendants, including Wadume, were brought before a Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday.
The other 10, said to be soldiers, were absent.
Lead prosecution lawyer, Simon Lough told the court that on January 7, 2020 the IGP wrote to the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) for the release of the 10 others to the police for arraignment and prosecution in court.
Lough added that although the letters were acknowledged, the defendants were not released to appear before the court for arraignment.
Ruling, Justice Binta Nyako ordered the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai to produce the soldiers, who were alleged to have aided Hamisu’s escape, in court on the next ajourned date.
Justice Nyako ordered the COAS or any other person whose custody the suspects were to provide them in court by March 30, 2020.
She ordered that an enrolled copy of the court order should be served on the COAS to enable him comply.