A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has sentenced a kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Bala, popularly known as Wadume, and two others, to seven years’ imprisonment.
Wadume was charged alongside a Police Inspector, Aliyu Dadje; Auwalu Bala; Uba Bala; Bashir Wazlri; Zubairu Abdullahi and Rayyanu Abdul.
They were prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation on a 13-count charge.
Justice Binta Nyako delivered the judgment on July 22, but it was made available to the media on Monday.
The judge convicted Wadume on two charges out of the 13 brought against him. He was convicted on escaping from lawful custody and unlawfully dealing in prohibited firearms.
Uba Bala and Abdullahi were also sentenced to seven years imprisonment each.
Dadje was sentenced to three years for tampering with police records to conceal a crime. He was the station officer at the Ibi Divisional Police Headquarters, Ibi Local Government Area of Taraba State at the time of the crime.
According to court records, Dadje was said to have tampered with entries made by Felix Adolije, leader of the IGP IRT team in August 2019, by tearing off the entry page to cover up for Tijani Balarabe, an Army Captain, and his team who released Wadume and killed some of the officers who arrested him.
One Abdul, a resident of Kano State, was sentenced to three years for harbouring Wadume after he escaped from police custody.
However, the court discharged and acquitted the third and fifth defendants, Auwal Bala and Bashir Waziri, for lack of evidence against them.
Wadume was reportedly a fish trader in Wukari, Taraba, up until 2018 when he allegedly went into kidnapping where he was said to have made millions.
He was said to have started kidnapping with six AK-47 rifles and 3,000 rounds of ammunition.
Wadume was arrested by the IGP IRT team, but escaped when soldiers opened fire on the team in 2019.
Three policemen and a civilian were shot dead in the incident.
He was later re-arrested at his hideout Layin Mai Allo Hotoro area of Kano State.