By Lazarus Zakaa, Abuja
The trial of a suspected kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Bala also known as Wadume has started at the Federal High Court, Abuja and he has pleaded not guilty to the charges leveled against him.
The Office of the Attorney-General had last week took over the case involving Wadume and six others where the 16-count charges were amended to 12.
In August 2019, the accused persons were alleged to have masterminded the killing of three policemen and two civilians that were joined to the Inspector General of Police’s intelligence response team.
The team was on an assignment in the ibi area of Taraba state to arrest the suspected kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Bala (Wadume).
When the case was called for hearing in Abuja, all the defendants pleaded not guilty to the 12-count charge bordering on “terrorism, kidnapping, continual to detain and collection of a ransom of N106m.”
Counsel representing Wadume, T. Dangana, told the court that he has a pending bail application for his client, and that the first defendant is critically ill and coughs out blood from his mouth.
However, a senior counsel from the ministry of justice, Shuaibu Labaran, noted that the bail application cannot stand because it is premised on the previous charge.
“The applications were premised on the earlier charge which to a reasonable extent is not applicable in the recent charge.
“But we will welcome any application and look at it in order to respond,” he said.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Binta Nyako, having heard from all parties involved in the case ordered the remand of the suspects at the facility of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
She also ordered that the defendants should be granted access to their lawyers while in custody, as well as given access to proper medical care within the police facility, while a medical report on the health of the first defendant should be submitted to her.
“Give me back a report on his condition of health.
“If need be, I will make an order sending him to a higher medical facility,” she said.
Justice Nyako adjourned the trial to June 22, 2020.