A member of the Intelligence Response Team, ASP Felix Aidolije, who led detectives to arrest Taraba kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu (aka Wadume), has revealed that the soldiers who attacked them and rescued Wadume fired at their vehicle with a machine gun.
Naija Buzz News reported the gruesome attack by the soldiers of the Nigerian Army 93 Battalion, Takum, on the policemen who apprehended Wadume. Three policemen and two civilians were killed by the soldiers.
According to ASP Aidolije, the soldiers who were in a Toyota Hilux chased them and fired several rounds at their vehicle, which made their vehicle (Toyota Hummer) to somersault several times.
He further stated that a soldier shot at him as he crawled out of the crashed bus, but he pretended as if he was hit by the bullets.
These revelations was contained in ASP Aidolije’s statement made to the Joint Investigation Panel set up by the Chief of Defence Staff on August 17, 2019.
The panel headed by Rear Admiral I Olaiya was setup by the Defence Headquarter to probe the unfortunate incidence which happened on August 6, 2019.
According to Aidolije, his team had earlier identified themselves at three checkpoints while on their way to Ibbi to arrest Wadume.
He noted that they picked up Wadume in the midst of about 10 youths. He (Wadume) did not struggle with them, but simply followed them into the bus and was handcuffed and his legs chained.
Returning to the check point, the soldiers queried them, and they told the soldiers they were the police personnel that passed earlier.
“One of the soldiers told us that ‘didn’t we know that the person (Wadume) in our bus is an influential man in Ibbi town,’ and I asked him to allow us to go because we are going far.
“As we passed the checkpoint, I saw a Toyota Picnic following us; next thing, I heard a gunshot and when I looked back, I saw a Hilux van mounted with a machine gun firing at us.
“It was then our vehicle somersaulted thrice, but the soldiers kept firing at us. It was by God’s grace that I crawled out of the vehicle and ran into the bush.
“I saw a soldier who fired at me, so I fell down; he thought I was hit by his bullets, but I crawled into the bush and ran. I saw one of my boys, Sgt. Emmanuel, and we hid till about 5:30 hours.”
He further noted that they saw a motorcyclist who took them to a village, but raised an alarm that they were kidnappers.
“The people started beating us with cutlasses; I brought out my ID card and one of them asked them to stop attacking us. The man took us to some mobile policemen on special duty around there. The policemen called a patrol vehicle from Area Command, Wukari, which took us to Wukari,” Aidolije said.
The soldiers were identified as; 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, Staff Sgt. Abdullahi Adamu, and Private Ebele Emmanuel.
ASP Aidolije also noted that their service pistols and bags containing personal effects were stolen while the vehicle was vandalized.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, recently dropped the names of the soldiers from the case. A decision that angered Nigerians, as many on social media criticized the AGF and the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Ogbodo ThankGod is currently the Managing Director/CEO/Group Chief Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He was the Chief Editor at NaijaBuzz.News before his new top leadership role. Ogbodo has years of experience in the Nigeria Media Industry and has co-founded some media companies. He is the founder of Ogbodo Solution Nigeria and 1Push.Ng. He loves playing football and is a strong supporter of Lionel Messi who he describes as the greatest footballer of all time.