•I’m a political thug, not a kidnapper
•I made N6m from a sitting governor
•How I escaped from troopers who wished to kill me
•Slain policemen recognized themselves earlier than troopers killed them
•Wadume’s uncle, brother, cousin reveal their roles
By Ifeanyi Okolie
Suspected kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Balla, a.okay.a Wadume, who has been in the midst of the raging storm between the Nigerian Military and the Nigeria Police over the homicide of three police operatives and two civilians by troopers in Ibi city, Taraba state has lastly opened up and made startling revelations.
In an unique interview with Saturday Vanguard, Wadume gave a blow by blow account of his encounter with each the police and his Military Captain buddy accountable for the 93 Battalion, Wukari who aided his escape after his preliminary arrest by the police.
Taraba Police killings: Military captain engaged welder to take away police cuffs — Findings(Opens in a brand new browser tab)
Wadume who expressed shock on the method the troopers opened hearth on the Police Toyota Hiace Bus that was conveying him to the Taraba Police Command Headquarters in Jalingo stated whereas he additionally sustained bullet wounds on his proper thigh after the shootings, he by no means requested the military captain to rescue him from the policemen who arrested him.
He additionally defined that as on the time he crawled out of the bullet ridden bus, which somersaulted 3 times earlier than touchdown into the bush, the policemen had been nonetheless alive however he was stunned to see the troopers who had pursued them to the check-point raining bullets on the policemen earlier than he was whisked in a pink coloured automobile, to the house of the military captain. He added that after his leg chain and handcuffs had been minimize off by a welder invited by the military captain, he was greeted by a big crowd of residents of Ibi who had been standing beside the corpses of the deceased policemen who had been all delivered to the house of the military captain.
With the sum of N550,000 in his pocket after he was rescued, Wadume stated he fled Ibi City and was hiding in the home of considered one of his buddies, Meito, at Ungwachiki city however 24 hours, later some troopers trailed him to his buddy’s home and wished to kill him. He subsequently jumped out of the window and fled to the river financial institution, boarded a pace boat into Tunga space of Nassarawa State, the place he spent an evening earlier than transferring to the house of his maternal uncle in Kano State.
My title is Hamisu Balla, alias Wadume, 33 years previous and I’m from Ibi Native Authorities Space of Taraba State. I’m married to 4 wives and I’ve 4 youngsters. I attended Bula Major faculty Ibi, however I dropped out from Authorities Secondary Faculty Ibi at JSS 3. After I dropped out faculty, I began fishing enterprise on the River Benue that flowed by Ibi City. This was in 1996 and I did fishing for six years, however within the yr 2002, I went into fishpond enterprise. I used to purchase fingerlings for N30 per one, nurture them for 5 months earlier than promoting them for N600 and N700. I began small with simply two small ponds however I went on to get 5 extra massive ponds with 50 by 50 in dimension and 5 ft deep.
“I’m not a kidnapper, however I’ve bought arms to a number of kidnappers. I’m a fisher farmer, I personal fish ponds, I personal a transport enterprise. I’m equally a political thug. I went into crime when some politicians got here for me, they approached me by one Babangida Musa, who was additionally into fishing enterprise.
I bought N6m from a sitting governor, N13m from APC, defrauded civil servant of N30m,
In June 2018, I deceived lots of politicians who had been vying for political workplaces that I had religious powers to allow them win their elections. I defrauded the governor when he got here to Ibi and met the youths in my city. Because the chief of the youths, the Governor met me and I promised to work for him and to additionally seek the advice of some Mallams who would pray for his success. The Governor gave me N2million at first and we exchanged phone numbers. However one week earlier than the election, the governor known as me and requested me to come back to the Authorities home and once I bought there the governor gave me N4million money to proceed with the prayers. Instantly after the election, the governor known as to thank me.
Finish of the street for suspected burglars(Opens in a brand new browser tab)
I used to be additionally given N13million by the APC to prosecute the 2019 presidential election however I spent solely seven million. I additionally defrauded a civil servant from Ibi of N30million.
I contested the Taraba state home of Meeting below the YDP Ibi Native Authorities however I pulled out of the election and took my supporters to the PDP.
My preliminary arrest by the police
I volunteered to observe the policemen after they got here to arrest me at Ibi City whereas I used to be consuming tea with a few of my buddies. They confirmed me their id playing cards indicating that they had been from the workplace of the Inspector Normal of Police and I volunteered to observe them, as a result of I knew I may settle any downside I’m confronted with. The policemen handcuffed me and leg-chained me whereas I used to be inside their car and the Military Captain wasn’t even there when the policemen got here to arrest me and I don’t even know who knowledgeable him that I had been arrested.
Slain policemen recognized themselves
Whereas I used to be being taken out of Ibi, City, the policemen handed the primary examine level which was being maned by some troopers after they’d recognized themselves. In addition they handed the second examine level which was maned by some Cellular Policemen. However after they bought to the third one the place we had been attacked, 4 of the policemen alighted from their bus they usually recognized themselves to the policemen and exchanged banters. I used to be shocked when the troopers got here after us and rained bullets on our bus, killing these policemen. I used to be nearly killed within the encounter. I used to be then taken to the military captain’s home. After I noticed the corpses of the policemen and their brokers in entrance of the Captain’s home I grew to become very disturbed and I pretended as if I wished to urinate and I escaped from the scene.
How I escaped from troopers who wished to kill me
I known as one Audu who’s considered one of my boys who took me on his bike to Ungwachiki City in Ibi Native Authorities and I handed the evening in the home of Meito, my buddy. However whereas I used to be there some troopers got here to Meito’s home and began searching for me they usually had been armed with weapons and machetes and axes, I believed they wished to kill me.
Nigerian soldier: When will sufficient be sufficient?(Opens in a brand new browser tab)
I don’t understand how they bought info that I used to be in that home however I managed to flee by the window and fled to the river financial institution round 8pm the place I boarded a pace boat to Tunga village in Nassarawa State. I spent an evening in Nassarawa state earlier than I boarded one other industrial bus to Kano State. Individuals couldn’t acknowledge me due to the Sallah vacation. I had N500,000 with me as I used to be working from the police and I took the cash to my uncle’s home the place I went to cover in Kano.
Whereas I used to be hiding, I instructed considered one of my bothers in Ibi to go to my home and take away all my rifles. My cousin additionally introduced an concept that I wanted some favorable tales to be written about me, so he engaged a PR firm who had been to hyperlink up with journalists to write down the tales. I paid N3million for that.
Confession of Wadume’s cousin
I’m Kawu Moahmmed Kasuwa, 30 years previous from Ibi Taraba State, I’m a civil servant and I work with Ibi Native Authorities. I’m an govt officer on the Admin Division. Wadume is my uncle, he’s a youthful brother to my mom. I used to be arrested in Zaria, as a result of I made efforts to get journalists to write down a positive story in help of my uncle Wadume who was being hunted by the police. It wasn’t my thought, however considered one of my uncles who was residing in Lagos State, Ismalia Jita who known as me and stated that he wasn’t proud of the dangerous press my Uncle, Wadume was getting because the incident occurred.
He wished me to lift some cash to present to the reporters so they might come right down to Ibi and communicate with the natives and get a great story concerning the incident which shall be favorable to Wadume. I requested for N3m they usually despatched me their firm’s account quantity and I gave it to my brother, Awal who knew how the cash was paid to the media out match. I used to be arrested in Zaria whereas the police had been searching for my uncle, Wadume. However I took them to my different uncle Awal in Abuja who I assumed may assist in their seek for Wadume.
I’ve at all times been suspicious of Wadume—Elder brother
My title is Auwal Balla, I’m 38 years previous, married with 4 youngsters, I’m industrial motorbike rider at Alaba Rago Market in Lagos. I’m often called Auwal Wawa. Wadume is my youthful brother and we had been born of the identical father and mom. I knew my brother to be a fish farmer, a transporter, political thug and a kidnapper. I by no means knew that my brother was into kidnapping till the police got here searching for him after my brother was rescued from the IRT operatives who had been killed by the troopers he known as. When Wadume known as and requested me to assist him disguise all his rifles in his home, I requested him what he was doing with all these rifles and he stated he was utilizing them for politics.
Then I known as one Uban Delu, my step brother and requested him to go to the place Wadume stored his rifles and take them away and conceal them in a unique place. I got here to Abuja as a result of some folks advised that we should always get the Home of Representatives member representing our space to help us on this matter and the individuals who had been to steer me to the Honorable member requested me to come back to Abuja.
Whereas I used to be in Abuja, considered one of my nephews, Kawul known as and advised that we should always get some media males to write down favorable tales for him that can change folks’s notion about him. I bought the thought to my youthful brother and he purchased it. I then requested Kawu to ship me the account variety of the corporate which I forwarded to Wadume and he credited the corporate with that cash.
I used to be in Abuja when the police got here and arrested me and I confessed that I’ve been in fixed communication with my brother since he was rescued from the police and I additionally knew that he was in my uncle’s home in Kano. I’ve at all times been suspicious of my brother as a result of he was spending an excessive amount of cash and since his enterprise was such that couldn’t yield massive cash however he at all times informed me to chill out, that he was a political thug and was making massive cash from politicians, it was when he was arrested and rescued that I knew that my brother will need to have been into kidnapping.
Why I harboured Wadume in my home—Uncle
I’m Rayyanu Abdul, 46, from Kano State. I’m married to a spouse and I’ve six youngsters. I’m a civil servant and I work with Kano State Senior Secondary Faculty Administration Board, Kano. I’m Wadume’s uncle, his mom is my elder sister. Wadume informed me that he was into fish farming, automobile gross sales and cattle rearing however I didn’t know that my nephew was into kidnapping or another crime.
Commander of IGP Intelligence Response Crew, DCP Abba Yyari with arrested kidnap kingpin, Hamish Wadume
Three days after the killing of the policemen by the troopers, I heard on radio that the police had been searching for a wished kidnapper, Alhaji Hamisu Balla, Wadume and that was once I knew that it was my youthful brother that was in the midst of the storm and I grew to become very shocked. Wadume’s elder brother, Auwal then known as me and requested me if I had heard what occurred to Wadume and I stated sure. Wadume additionally known as me himself and informed me he was coming to my home however I requested him to cease at a filling station near my home the place I went to select him up and took him into my home. After I found that Wadume had an harm on his thigh, I introduced a physician who began treating him. Wadume gave me N270,000 to inventory the home with sufficient meals stuff and my spouse was getting ready meals for him. He took tea within the morning, ate rice within the afternoon and within the evening he would take ‘tuwo’.
In 2017, I used to be poisoned and Wadume and his brother came around me in a rented condominium the place I used to be residing with my household. They requested if I had a home and I informed them, I solely had land on which I had constructed the muse and I took Wadume to the location. He noticed what I had performed and he promised to finish the constructing for me. Early this yr, he got here and accomplished the constructing and he furnished it for me. The constructing is a 3 bed room condominium. When he got here along with his harm, I gave him my room and I moved into my wives’ room and he was staying alone in his room. I don’t know if he was praying usually in his room.
Taraba Killings: Police forensic specialists carry out post-mortem of murdered IRT operatives(Opens in a brand new browser tab)
The Manhunt for Wadume
The manhunt by the Police to arrest and produce down Wadume’s kidnapping empire started in March 2019, when it acquired a petition from one Sheriff Umar of Kirikinua South Native Authorities Space of Kaduna State.
The petitioner acknowledged that his cousin, Usman Mayo, was kidnapped on February 15, 2019, at Takum Native Authorities Space of Taraba State and his kidnapper demanded the sum of N200 million as ransom for his launch. In line with the petition, the household of the kidnapped sufferer negotiated and paid the sum of N85 million first, on March 11, 2019, however the sufferer was not launched.
An extra N15 million was paid on March 16, 2019, making a complete sum of N100m paid to the abductors but the abductors refused to launch their sufferer as they insisted that that the household should pay the N200 million they demanded.
The household subsequently reported to the police and the IRT was drafted to research and monitor down the suspects behind the kidnapping and rescue the sufferer.
It was gathered that whereas investigations into the matter commenced, members of the kidnapped sufferer’s household paid an extra N20m to the abductors and the sufferer was launched, however the police found throughout investigations that Wadume had sturdy hyperlinks to the abductors, who bought N120 million as ransom from their sufferer.
Following confessions by some kidnap suspects in police custody which allegedly implicated Wadume, the police subsequently went on his path and succeeded in arresting him in his residence city, Ibi on August 6. He was being pushed to Jalingo by the police workforce when troopers opened hearth on them alongside Ibi-Wukari Highway, killing three law enforcement officials and two civilians. The troopers had been stated to have acquired orders from a military captain to kill the policemen.
The aggrieved Nigeria Police in a press release demanded to know why the troopers killed the policemen even after figuring out themselves that they had been on official obligation. The police equally puzzled why the suspected kidnapper who was handcuffed and leg chained by the police was launched by the troopers and allowed to flee. The Military on its half claimed that the troopers responded to a misery name and that the troopers mistook the policemen to be kidnappers.
The warmth generated by the incident prompted President Muhammed Buhari to arrange a probe panel to research the incident. The panel was but to submit its report when the police, on August 19 re-arrested him in Kano.