Kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Balla has said he is surprised on how his friend, who is an Army captain got to know about his arrest by the men of the Nigeria Police Force at his home in Ibi own, Taraba state.
Hamisu who contested the Taraba state house of Assembly under the YDP Ibi Local Government before pulling out of the election and took his supporters to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in an interview with Vanguard said that he willingly followed the Police officers who came to arrest him knowing fully well he can solve the problem.
“I volunteered to follow the policemen when they came to arrest me at Ibi Town while I was drinking tea with some of my friends. They showed me their identity cards indicating that they were from the office of the Inspector General of Police and I volunteered to follow them because I knew I could settle any problem I’m confronted with.
“The policemen handcuffed me and leg-chained me while I was inside their vehicle and the Army Captain wasn’t even there when the policemen came to arrest me and I don’t even know who informed him that I had been arrested.
While I was being taken out of Ibi, Town, the policemen passed the first checkpoint which was being manned by some soldiers after they had identified themselves. They also passed the second checkpoint which was manned by some Mobile Policemen. But when they got to the third one where we were attacked, four of the policemen alighted from their bus and they identified themselves to the policemen and exchanged banters. I was shocked when the soldiers came after us and rained bullets on our bus, killing those policemen.
“I was almost killed in the encounter. I was then taken to the army captain’s house. When I saw the corpses of the policemen and their agents in front of the Captain’s house I became very disturbed and I pretended as if I wanted to urinate and I escaped from the scene.”
He also revealed that after being rescued from the Police, the military personnel wanted him dead.
“I called one Audu who is one of my boys who took me on his bike to Ungwachiki Town in Ibi Local Government and I passed the night in the house of Meito, my friend. But while I was there some soldiers came to Meito’s house and started looking for me and they were armed with guns and machetes and axes, I believed they wanted to kill me.
“I don’t know how they got information that I was in that house but I managed to escape through the window and fled to the river bank around 8pm where I boarded a speed boat to Tunga village in Nassarawa State. I spent a night in Nassarawa state before I boarded another commercial bus to Kano State. People couldn’t recognize me because of the Sallah holiday. I had N500,000 with me as I was running from the police and I took the money to my uncle’s house where I went to hide in Kano.
“While I was hiding, I instructed one of my bothers in Ibi to go to my house and take away all my rifles. My cousin also brought an idea that I needed some favourable stories to be written about me, so he engaged a PR company who were to link up with journalists to write the stories. I paid N3million for that,” he said.
It could be recalled that the Police launched a manhunt for Wadume and bring down his kidnapping empire in March 2019, when it received a petition from one Sheriff Umar of Kirikinua South Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
According to the petitioner, his cousin, Usman Mayo, was kidnapped on February 15, 2019, at Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State and his kidnapper demanded the sum of N200 million as a ransom for his release.
He further revealed that the family of the kidnapped victim negotiated and paid the sum of N85 million first, on March 11, 2019, but the victim was not released.
An additional N15 million was also paid on March 16, 2019, making a total sum of N100m paid to the kidnappers yet the kidnappers refused to release their victim as they insisted that the family must pay the N200 million they demanded.
The family, therefore, reported to the police and the IRT was drafted to investigate and track down the suspects behind the kidnapping and rescue the victim.
It was until members of the kidnapped victim’s family paid an additional N20m to the kidnappers that the victim was released.