- AGF Malami has been given an ultimatum to order the immediate arrest and prosecution of 10 soldiers involved in the Wadume scandal
- Femi Falana (SAN) said he would take necessary legal measures if the AGF failed to accede to his request within seven days
- Falana accused Malami of withdrawing the case against the suspects after taking over it from the police prosecutors
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Popular lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN), has asked AGF Abubakar Malami (SAN) to order the immediate arrest and prosecution of 10 soldiers who reportedly killed three policemen and two civilians in Taraba state in 2019.
The incident reportedly occurred on August 6, 2019 when a team of policemen led by Inspector Mark Ediale arrested kidnap suspect Hamisu Bala (aka Wadume) and were taking him to police headquarters in Jalingo.
The Nation reports that Falana said he would take legal measures to ensure the slain police officers and civilians did not die in vain if Malami failed to accede to his request within seven days.
Legit.ng gathers that Falana accused the Nigerian Army of turning down the request of the police investigation team to interrogate the 10 soldiers.
The senior lawyer said the trial of the other suspects has failed to commence due to the alleged refusal of the military to release the suspected killer-soldiers to face justice.
He said when the case was mentioned in court on March 16, 2020, the police prosecutor rightly applied for an order for the production of the soldiers.
He said the presiding judge, Justice Binta Nyako, ordered the Chief of Army Staff or any person who has the custody of the indicted soldiers to produce them in court to face trial.
Falana accused Malami of taking over the case from the police prosecutor, amending the charge and withdrawing the case against the suspects instead of using his position to ensure compliance with the court order.
He disclosed that his firm is representing the bereaved family of the late Inspector Mark Ediale.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the suspected kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Bala, aka Wadume, was arraigned on Monday, June 8, before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
He was arraigned with six others on an amended charge of 13 counts bordering on terrorism, kidnapping and related offences.
Meanwhile, a report by SB Morgen (SBM) Intelligence has revealed that between the year 2011 and 2020, Nigerians paid at least N7 billion as ransom to kidnappers.
The report relied on data collected from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, the Council for Foreign Relations’ Nigeria Security Tracker, newspaper reports and SBM intel’s own countrywide network of researchers.
It also contains the breakdown of the name of victims, date, state and amount paid respectively.
Four of the top 10 states with a high number of kidnap incidents over the last decade are in the south-south geopolitical zone, with three of them being Bayelsa – 85, Delta -96 and Rivers – 120.
Others states with high kidnap incidents include Kaduna – 177, Borno – 82, Kogi – 59, Edo – 55, Ondo – 54, Katsina – 52 and Taraba – 47.
The report says up until late 2018, kidnap attempts were targeted at specific victims who were mostly politically-exposed persons, business people and their close relatives, or expatriates.
The report also reveals that the rising levels of youth unemployment is a major factor responsible for the growth of kidnap cases.
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