3 policemen, 2 civilians killed as soldiers rescue kidnap kingpin, Wadume – Witness

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A member of the Intelligence Response Team, ASP Felix Aidolije, who led the detectives that arrested a kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu (Wadume), has said soldiers commanded by Capt. Tijjani Balarabe fired at their vehicle with a machine gun in Taraba.

Three policemen and two civilians died during the attack by the soldiers attached to Battalion 93, Takum.

According to the team leader who said the soldiers were in a Toyota Hilux chased them and fired several rounds which made their Toyota Hummer somersault three times.

He further stated that a soldier shot at him as he crawled out of the crashed bus, adding that he pretended as if he was hit by the bullets.

READ ALSO: Kidnap: FG arraigns Wadume, 6 others, on amended court charges in Taraba

However, the ASP stated these in his statement dated August 17, 2019, made to the Joint Investigation Panel set up by the Chief of Defence Staff.

The JIP included a representative each from the Nigerian Army, Navy, Airforce, the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services and the Defence Intelligence Agency.

The panel headed by Rear Admiral I. Olaiya probed the killing by the soldiers who also released Wadume on August 6, 2019.

Aidolije explained that his team had earlier identified themselves at three checkpoints manned by soldiers, riot and the conventional policemen while going to Ibbi to arrest Wadume.

The team leader stated that they picked up Wadume in Ibbi, in the midst of about 10 youths, adding that he simply followed them into the bus and was handcuffed and his legs chained.

As the operatives were returning from the operation, he said the soldiers at the checkpoint queried them about their trip, adding that the IRT told the soldiers that they were the police personnel who passed through earlier.

Aidolije stated, “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.

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