The police and the military are in a race to recapture the suspected kidnap kingpin in Taraba State, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume, albeit for different reasons, THISDAY investigations have revealed. Wadume escaped from police custody last week when soldiers shot at a team of policemen from a special squad that came from Abuja to arrest him, killing three of the 10-member crew.
Already, two panels have been set up to probe the incident; one by the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and headed by an Assistant Inspector General of Police and another one by the Defence Headquarters (DHQ). However, sources said the setting up of the two panels, whose members, analysts say, might be working at cross-purposes because they allegedly have different agenda, was compounding the investigation. A security source told THISDAY that what should have been set up was either a presidential panel or a judicial panel of enquiry to guard against the two panels working at cross-purposes.
It was also gathered that the bodies of the slain policemen have arrived Garki Hospital, Abuja, in preparation for their burial. The bodies are those of Inspector Mark Edaile, from Edo State; Sergeant Usman Danzumi and Sergeant Dahiru Musa both of whom are from Taraba State as well as those of three other deceased victims.
THISDAY gathered that in spite of the constitution of a panel by the DHQ to unravel the circumstances surrounding the killing of the policemen by soldiers attached to 93 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Takum, Taraba State, the army and police were in a hot race to rearrest him. Wadume, by the account of the police, was arrested in Jalingo and was being taken to the Jalingo Police Command for questioning before soldiers intercepted the police squad, killed some of the members before setting him free.
A top police officer who shed light on the alleged motives of both the army and the police in ensuring that either of them recapture the suspect first, said: “As it is now, the police are keen on recapturing the suspect whom you know we initially arrested before soldiers eliminated the policemen in charge of the investigation. So, the point is that the police need to recapture him and elicit vital information from him but that is not the same target of the army.
“The fear is that the army may not want him to reveal some information about the circumstances that led to his rescue by those soldiers who killed the policemen. So, they are running at cross-purposes as it is presently.”