The Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation has taken over the prosecution of the alleged Taraba State kidnapping kingpin, Bala Hamisu, a.k.a Wadume, from the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
The police had on February 3 arraigned Wadume and 19 other suspects on a 16-count charge of terrorism, murder, kidnapping, and illegal arms at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The defendants include two police officers and 10 soldiers.
The soldiers are Capt. Tijjani 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.
Other defendants are – ASP Aondona Iorbee, Inspector Aliyu Dadje, Auwalu Bala, aka Omo Razor, Uba Bala (aka Uba Belu); Ahmad Suleiman (aka Dan Ball); Bashir Waziri, (aka Baba runs); Zubairu Abdullahi (aka Basho); Hafizu Bala (aka Maiwelder); and Rayyanu Abdul.
When the case resumed on Wednesday, only seven defendants – Wadume and six others were present in court.
The soldiers were not in court for the hearing.
They were also absent at the last proceedings held in March.
The prosecuting counsel from the AGF office, Labaran Magaji, who appeared in the case for the first time on Wednesday, told Justice Binta Nyako that his office took over the case and received the case file from the police on Tuesday.
He asked the court for an adjournment to enable him to produce all the defendants in court.
Magaji said: “The AGF office applied to take over the prosecution of the criminal charge. We were handed over the file yesterday (Tuesday). The case has about 20 defendants, but only six defendants are present in court.”
The judge adjourned hearing in the case till June 8.