Hamisu Bala, 33-year-old alleged kidnap kingpin, popularly known as Wadume, has made more revelations on his criminal activities, especially his relationship with Captain Balarabe Tijani.
Realnews reports that Captain Tijani allegedly ordered the killing of operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team and two of their civilian informants by soldiers of the 93 Battalion of the Nigerian Army after the arrested and handcuffed Wadume. The soldiers later released Wadume after killing the three policemen.
However, Wadume revealed how he met the Army captain and how he started his arms running business. He also described himself as a political thug, but refused to admit to being a kidnapper. According to Wadume, he met Captain Tijani six months ago, after the officer was posted to Ibi Town in Taraba State.
Wadume said: “Before then, I wasn’t close to any Army senior officer. When Balarabe was posted to Ibi Town, he went to pay a visit to the Seriki of Ibi Town. The Seriki invited me as the Youth Leader to meet the new army commander in town.
I gave the captain N30,000 cash on that day.
“Three weeks later, I went to him again and gave him another N50,000. I started fueling Army patrol vehicles whenever they are going on patrol. I do this on every market day. There was even a time I also sent N200,000 to the Captain’s bank account.”
On his arm running business, Wadume said he started it in 2018, when he was introduced into the business by his friend, Babaginda Musa. Incidentally, the said Musa, just like Wadume, was a fish trader.
Musa advised him to go into arms business. Wadume said: “Babaginda sold two AK-47 rifles to me at the rate N650,000. He bought two other K2 rifles for me at N550,000. I bought four rifles at the rate of N2.4 million.
“I later bought an additional five AK-47 rifles from Babaginda and Galadima Bakar at the rate of N600,000 each. I paid the sum of N3 million. I bought these rifles a day after the presidential election. I also bought three boxes of ammunition from Galadima and Babaginda at the rate of N400,000. I paid N1.2 million.
“I then sold the three boxes of ammunition at the rate of N480,000 each to Yakubu Yan-Maza and four AK-47 rifles at the rate N760,000 each. He paid me N1.4 million for the ammunition. He first paid N3 million for the rifles and later gave me money in cash. I made a profit of N880,000.
“Yan-Maza told me that he sold the rifles and ammunition he bought from me to some Fulani bandits inside the forest. I also bought additional AK-47 rifles from Babaginda and gave two rifles to Dantane Bashir. The police have recovered four of my rifles. It remains those with Bashir.”
Auwal Balla, 38, one of the suspects arrested with Wadume, introduced himself as a commercial cyclist operating at Alaba Rago Market in Lagos State.
Auwal, who described himself as Wadume’s older brother, said: “I knew my brother to be a fish farmer, a transporter and a political thug. I never knew that my brother was into kidnapping until the police came looking for him.
“After my brother was rescued from the IRT operatives by the soldiers, he called and asked me to help in hiding all his rifles. I asked what he was doing with all those rifles, he said he used them for politics.
“I called Uban Delu, my step brother, and asked him to go to where Wadume kept his rifles and move them to different place. I came to Abuja because some people suggested that we should get the House of Representatives member representing our area to assist us in this matter.
“The people, who were to lead me to the Honourable Member asked me to come to Abuja. While I was in Abuja, one of my cousins, Kawu, called and suggested that we should get some media men to write favourable stories for Wadume, that it would change people’s perception of him.
“I sold the idea to my younger brother and he bought it. I then asked Kawu to send me the account number of the media company. I forwarded it to Wadume and he credited the company. I was at Aya area of Abuja when the police came and arrested.
“I confessed that I have been in constant communication with my brother since he was rescued from the police. I also knew that he was in my uncle’s house in Kano State. I have always been suspicious of my brother because he was spending too much money.
“When I asked him how come his business was giving him so much money, he asked me to relax, that he was a political thug and was making big money from politicians. It was when he was arrested and rescued that I knew that my brother must have been into kidnapping.”
Wadume’s uncle, Rayyanu Abdul, 46, a civil servant working with Kano State Senior Secondary School Management Board in Kano, recounted how Wadume was arrested in his residence. Abdul said all he knew about Wadume’s business was that he was a fish farmer, car dealer and cattle rearer.
He said: “I didn’t know that my nephew was into kidnapping or any other crime. Three days after the killing of the policemen by the soldiers, I heard on radio that the police were looking for a wanted kidnapper named Alhaji Hamisu Balla, aka Wadume. That was when I knew that it was my younger brother that was at the middle of the storm.
“I was shocked and then Wadume’s elder brother, Auwal, called and asked if I heard what happened to Wadume and I said yes. Later Wadume himself called; he said that he was coming to my house. I asked him to stop at a filling station close to my house. When he got there, I went to pick him. I discovered that Wadume had an injury on his thing.
“I brought a doctor, who treated him. Wadume gave me the sum of N270,000 to stock the house with enough foodstuffs. My wife was the person preparing food for him. He takes tea in the morning, after he eats rice and by night he takes tuwo.”
Abdul, who noted that Wadume had been kind to him, recalled: “In the year 2017, I was poisoned and Wadume and his brother came to visit me in a rented apartment, where I was living with my family.
“They asked if I had a house, I told them that I had building just at its foundation. I took Wadume to the site. He saw what I had done and promised to complete it for me. Early this year, he completed and furnished it. The building is a three bedroom apartment.
“When he came with his injury, I gave him my room and moved into my wife’s room. He was staying alone in his room. I prayed regularly for him, but last Monday, the police came and arrested me.
“They arrested me through my nephew Auwul. I took the police to my house, where Wadume was arrested. I knew I have committed a crime by protecting a fugitive, but I hope the government would forgive me.”