By Gowon Emakpe, Abuja
A prosecution witness, Felix Adolije Monday, narrated his ordeal at a Federal High Court in Abuja, on how soldiers attached to mount roadblocks along Ibi town in Taraba State, shot at their operational vehicle on their way back to Abuja.
Adolije, who mounted the witness box in the ongoing criminal trial of kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu, A.k.a Wadume and others, insisted that the action of the soldiers caused their vehicle to have an accident and then somersaulted three times.
The police witness testified before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja, who is hearing the case.
It would be recalled that the Wadume case was taken over by a team of lawyers from the Attorney General’s Office penultimate week to enhance speedy trial.
Meanwhile, at the resumed trial, Counsel to all the parties said they were ready to continue with the trial.
In the same vein, Counsel to some of the defendants at the trial also argued their clients bail applications respectively.
While testifying on the incident, Adolije, a serving Assistant Superintendent of police attached to the IGP response team narrated that he alongside one Sergeant Emmanuel escaped death by the whiskers.
In his narration, Adolije said, “Sometimes in August, there was a case of kidnapping and collection of ransom in Taraba, which was reported through a petition to the Inspector General of Police. The IGP then ordered that it be taken to our department for further investigation.
“After going through the petition, we discovered that the kidnappers were demanding million naira ransoms using four telephone numbers.
According to the witness, his team later traced one of the users of the number to Ibi town in Taraba and swung into action.
He continued, “When we got to Jalingo on the 5th August, we reported to the State Commissioner of Police in Taraba and told him our mission. He then endorsed our letter and further introduced us via another letter to the Wukari Area Commander.
“When we set out on the journey to Wukari from Jalingo, a journey of about 207 kilometer, a Sergeant who knew the terrain was attached to us and we wore our operational vest and face-cap all through.
“On our way, we met three road blocks mounted by police, mobile police force and the last one by soldiers. We stopped at each roadblock to explain our mission on request.”
However, Adolije lamented that after effecting the arrest of the suspect in Ibi town and on their way back to Jalingo, they had problems at the roadblock mounted by soldiers who they had earlier encountered.
He said, “One of the soldiers accused us that the person we arrested was an influential man in town. At that point, I told him we just passed here not long and wondered how he knew the suspect in our tainted vehicle.
“After further explanations, they allowed us proceed on the journey.
“As soon as we left the scene, not long after, we noticed a Sharon bus with full-light trailing us behind. At first, we did not anticipate anything dangerous until another Hilux with a machine gun overtook our vehicle and started firing at us. The last thing I heard was ‘Oh Jesus Oh Jesus’ by our driver and the vehicle somersaulted.
“At that point, everyone started scampering to safety and it was already 7 .00 PM or thereabout. I later saw Sergeant Emma, where I was hidden and we were both trying to escape in the bush having left my pistol and AK-47 behind in the vehicle.
“Mobile police vehicle later came to carry us and took us to Wukari General Hospital, after rescuing us from some locals who tried to kill us having mistaken us for kidnappers.,” he told the Court.
Meanwhile, Justice Nyako has fixed Wednesday July 1, for continuation of trial, cross-examination of witness and ruling on bail applications made on behalf of the defendants.