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Notorious Firearms Dealer ‘Wadume’ Receives Warm Welcome in Taraba After Jail Term

Notorious Firearms Dealer 'Wadume' Receives Warm Welcome in Taraba After Jail Term

A large crowd gathered to welcome convicted firearms dealer ‘Wadume’ back to his hometown in Ibbi, Taraba State, on Sunday, April 7, 2024.

Wadume was arrested by the Inspector-General of Police’s Intelligence Response Team in 2019 and was recently released from Kuje Prison in Abuja on Friday, April 5, 2024, after completing his jail sentence.

According to prison sources reported by Daily Trust, Wadume’s release was facilitated by Honourable Prince Ayuba Zaku Dampar, who represents Ibi-Wukari Federal Constituency.

Upon his arrival, Wadume was ferried into Ibbi via the River Benue, where he was greeted by thousands of people. Both elderly residents and youths came out to welcome him by the riverside, and he later proceeded through the town to his house.

Nuhu, a local resident, expressed joy, saying, “We are celebrating as Wadume regains his freedom and returns to his hometown Ibbi.”

Wadume visited the Chief of Ibbi chiefdom, Alhaji Salihu Danbawuro, at his palace. During the visit, Wadume thanked the chief and the people of his chiefdom for their support throughout his trial, stating that they stood by him and prayed for his well-being while he was in prison.

Chief Salihu Danbawuro conveyed happiness on behalf of himself and his subjects, expressing their joy at Wadume’s release from prison.

“I and the entire people of Ibbi chiefdom are happy that Hamisu Wadume is now back in Ibbi his home town.” the chief said.

Controversy trailed his arrest in 2019 after the IRT team of the IGP squad that arrested him were attacked by soldiers while on their way to Abuja.

The soldiers attached to Battalion 93, Ibbi-Takum road, led by Tijjani Balarabe, were reported to have set Wadume free and subsequently killed some of the officers who arrested him, on August 6, 2019.

Three policemen and two civilians were killed during the incident, while five other police officers were injured.

The soldiers were questioned by a joint panel charged with probing the incident.

In his statement to the joint investigation panel, Balarabe reportedly confessed using a spoon to open the handcuffs

Balarabe said he had interviewed one of the injured police officers after Ibrahim Muhammed, an army sergeant, shot at the tyres of one of the vehicles conveying the policemen

“The guard commander of Gidan Waya told me that the locals arrested one of the suspects and he was with him at the checkpoint and he was having a police ID card; the suspect said he was a policeman from Abuja,” Balarabe was quoted to have said

“Lt Yushau Saad brought him from Gidan Waya with the ID card. I interviewed him and he said they were sent from Abuja to arrest the alhaji (Wadume). We moved the injured policemen to the hospital and the DCO Wukari (ASP Aondona Iorbee) confirmed that they are policemen.

“When I arrived at the camp, my soldiers and ASP Iorbee and a civilian were removing handcuffs from the alhaji (Wadume). I entered my kitchen and picked a spoon to join them in removing the handcuffs.”

The army captain further explained that he took Wadume and his two sisters to his house while he went to Ibbi town with Saad to retrieve some rifles belonging to the IRT policemen. He said on returning, Wadume had disappeared

But two weeks after he was freed illegally, Wadume was traced to a house he bought at Layin Mai Allo Hotoro area of Kano and rearrested.

A Federal High Court in Abuja later sentenced him to seven years in jail. Wadume was convicted and jailed for escaping from lawful custody and unlawfully dealing in prohibited firearms. But the prosecution failed to prove the charges of kidnapping against him

The judge, Binta Nyako, found Wadume guilty on counts 2 and 10 of the 13 charges preferred against him and six others by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).

She also jailed four of Wadume’s co-defendants charged in the case of tampering with evidence, aiding and abetting, and unlawful possession of firearms. The five convicts include a police officer, Aliyu Dadje, a police inspector.

The convicts were jailed in the judgement of the court delivered by Nyako.

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