By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja
As the trial of the alleged kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Bala, aka Wadume continued yesterday, another witness, Inspector Samuel Abdullahi, told the court that his team retrieved six guns from the kidnap kingpin.
Testifying as a 5th prosecution witness, before Justice Binta Nyako, Abdulahi gave the evidence when he was tendering six guns as exhibits at the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja.
The guns were tendered to the court and admitted as exhibits B, B1 to B5.
Wadume and his co-defendants are answering a 13-count amended criminal charge bordering on terrorism, kidnapping and collection of N106 million ransom, among others preferred against them by the Federal Government.
Other defendants are: Police Inspector, Aliyu Dadje, Auwalu bala (aka omo razor); Uba Bala (aka Uba Delu); Bashir Wazlri (aka baba runs); Zubairu Abdullahi (aka Basho) and Rayyanu Abdul.
They have however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The soldiers who were initially charged along with Wadume had their names removed from the charge sheet as defendants by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, which took over the prosecution of the matter from the police.
While being led in evidence in chief, the witness told the court that his team that investigated the matter involving Wadume and his codefendants retrieved the six guns from the kidnap kingpin.
According to the witness, Wadume instructed Rayyanu Abdul, the 7th defendant, based in Ibi to move the guns, which belongs to him, to a safe place, but when told that they needed money for spiritual prayers over his matter, Wadume ordered that two of the rifles be sold to raise money for that purpose.
He said Bashir Wazlri (aka Babaruns), the 5th defendant was in the Sharon vehicle that the military used in chasing the police operatives, which they shot and it summersaulted, killing three policemen and two civilians.
Testifying further, the witness insisted that the six guns were retrieved from Bashir Waziri and Uba Bala, who were also defendants in the matter and kept in the custody of the exhibit keeper of the Nigeria Police.
However, the move to tender the statements the defendants made to the police were objected to by their counsel.
In their objection to the admissibility of the statements, both counsels to the second and the sixth defendants submitted that the statements of their client were obtained by inducement and torture.
Arguing further, they insisted that the statements were written in English language while their clients made them in Hausa language.
Consequently, they called for trial within trial and the court conducted the trial within trial to ascertain whether the statements were obtained by inducement or torture as alleged by the defendants.
In their own reaction, counsel to the 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7 defendants said they will address the issue in their final address.
The matter, for the meantime, is adjourned till July 15, 2020 for continuation.