The trial of the alleged Taraba State kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Bala, otherwise known as Wadume, resumed at the Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday.
The fifth prosecution witness, Bala James, an Assistant Superintendent of Police who earlier testified on July 15, 2020, was cross-examined by some of the defence lawyers at yesterday’s proceedings.
The judge, Justice Binta Nyako, thereafter adjourned the case till October 22 for the prosecution to present its sixth witness.
Wadume and six others are being prosecuted on 13 counts of kidnapping, escape from custody, gunrunning, detention of kidnap victim Usman Garba, and collection of ransom of N106million from the victim before releasing him.
Apart from Wadume, the rest of the defendants are, Inspector Aliyu Dadje, who was a station officer at police headquarters in Ibi, Auwalu Bala, aka Omo Razor, Uba Bala (aka Uba Belu); Bashir Waziri, (aka Baba Runs); Zubairu Abdullahi (aka Basho); and Rayyanu Abdul.
Wadume was first arrested in Ibi, Taraba State, by members of the Intelligence Response Team of the Inspector-General of Police on August 6, 2019, before soldiers led by Captain Tijjani Balarabe aided his escape from the custody of the policemen conveying him to Abuja.
The Captain Balarabe-led troops attached to the 93 Battalion in Takum, Taraba State, had allegedly shot at the policemen who were conveying Wadume to Abuja shortly after arresting the prime suspect in Ibi, Taraba State on August 6, 2019.
The soldiers were said to have killed three policemen and two civilians while five others were wounded in the attack aimed at freeing Wadume from police custody.
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr, Abubakar Malami (SAN), removed the names of the soldiers as defendants from the case within days of taking over the case from the police in July, 2020.
Earlier testifying as the fourth prosecution witness in the case, a member of the IRT of the IGP office, Inspector Samuel Habila, said Wadume escaped with gunshot wounds to Kano after soldiers aided his escape from the police on August 6, 2019.
He said the kidnap suspect was rearrested in an investigation-led operation at his uncle, Rayyanu Abdul’s place in Kano on August 20, 2019.
He also said that some of the defendants carted away the AK-47 rifles belonging to the policemen after the Balarabe-led troops shot at them.
He said one of the guns was later handed over to Balarabe by one of the defendants.
At the previous proceeding on July 15, 2020, the fifth prosecution witness, James, testified on the roles played by each of the seven defendants in the case.
Under cross-examination by Wadume’s lawyer, Ishiaka Dikko (SAN), yesterday, James said he did not visit any other place apart from Wukaro and Ibi in Taraba State in respect of the investigation of the case.
Aside two of the defence lawyers, the other four defence lawyers asked one question each.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr Labaran Magaji, then asked for an adjournment of the case to enable him to present the sixth prosecuting witness.
The judge then adjourned the case till October 22.
RSNC GM Tasks Medical Practitioners On Emerging Pandemics
The General Manager of the Rivers State Newspaper Corporation, Publishers of The Tide Newspaper, Chief Ernest Chinwo, has called on medical practitioners in the country to assist the government find workable solution to the array of emerging pandemics, including COVID-19, Lassa fever and monkeypox currently ravaging the country.
Chinwo said this in his office during a courtesy call by organisers of the Rivers State Joint Health Summit 2022.
Represented by the Acting Chairman of Editorial Board and Supervising Editor, Mr Nelson Chukwudi, the general manager also stressed the need for the health professionals to come up with private sector-driven health insurance scheme for the country.
He said that it also behoves on them to pool resources together with a view to building mega hospitals in the country to stem the tide of medical tourism abroad while at the same time curbing brain drain.
The general manager also tasked them to check the incidence of quackery in the medical profession.
Chinwo commended them for the proposed summit, assuring of the cooperation and support of the corporation, especially in providing adequate coverage to their activities.
He said the corporation, since inception has been on the forefront in publicising health issues, stressing that it was against this background that a page was dedicated in The Tide newspaper for health, and called for medical experts to contribute to the robustness of content on the page.
He further noted that beside newspaper publishing, the corporation also does all kinds of commercial printing jobs, and solicited patronage from the health professionals.
Earlier, Secretary General of the Rivers State Joint Health Summit, Dr. Joseph Olawuyi, said the summit with the theme “Repositioning HealthCare services in Rivers state” earlier proposed for the 22 to 26 of August 2022 was moved to October 2022 to ensure mass participation by both government and non-governmental organisations.
Olawuyi said the summit which is being put together by private medical practitioners in partnership with government aims at refocusing the health sector for quality service in the state.
He said a lot of people both within and outside the country have started registering for the summit.
According to him the event will also be used to train health practitioner’s on biomedical engineering as well as encourage the utilization of abundant medical equipment by practitioners.
He urged for a health bank in the country to create access to soft loans by health practitioners.
Olawuyi said the event which will be declared open by Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike will be attended by people from all walks of life including members of the armed forces amongst others.
By: John Bibor & Oreoluwa Adigun
FG Spends N18.69bn Daily On Subsidy, Minister Confirms
The Minister of Finance and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has disclosed that Nigeria spends N18.69billion daily on petroleum subsidies.
She stated this, yesterday, when she appeared before the House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating oil subsidies.
The minister claimed Nigeria consumes 64million litres per day, and that the figure could have been influenced by smuggling.
Ahmed said the executive is also concerned about the increment in daily consumption.
She noted that some of the products are being smuggled outside the country, adding that during COVID-19 locked down, daily consumption dropped significantly.
She stated that the president alone cannot take the decision on removing subsidy, insisting that there must be a multi-stakeholder approach, including all political parties, who must sit to make the decision.
The minister disclosed that the landing cost of petroleum is N448 per litre and that the NNPC takes care of the rest through under recovery.
She further said the Federal Executive Council has also expressed worry about the figure presented by the NNPC, adding that as the Minister of Finance, she has no access to the bank statement of the NNPC.
The Chairman of the Committee, Ibrahim Aliyu, questioned the figure provided by the minister.
Aliyu said even during the COVID19 locked down, Nigeria was still consuming high volume, which according to him was not logical.
He claimed the daily petroleum consumption was about 32million litres.
But the minister responded that she is not sure whether daily consumption has doubled and not also sure if the total number of vehicles in the country has doubled in the past 10 years.
Over 20 Countries Arrive Abuja For 2022 INAC
The 2022 International Arts and Crafts Expo (INAC), themed “Networking Nigerian Crafts to the World”, was, yesterday, declared open in Abuja, by the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe.
The 15th edition of the Expo holding at the Abuja Sheraton Hotels & Towers has in attendance no fewer than 25 countries and eight states in Nigeria.
Some of the countries already on ground include Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Venezuela, Syria, India, Philippines, China, Iran, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, Malaysia, Benin Republic, Sudan, Lebanon, South Korea and Tanzania.
States in Nigeria that have arrived Abuja for the annual international event are Lagos, Ogun, Akwa Ibom, FTC, Kaduna and Katsina.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Runsewe said the aim of the expo is to better project Nigerian crafts to various countries of the world given that our stories are better told by us. It is also to promote cultural exchange programmes and improve inter-country collaborations in music, arts, drama, etc.
The expo, as usual, is expected to amongst other items, feature skill acquisition trainings for young people, free medical examination and care, display of countries art documentaries, exhibitions of countries’ arts, crafts and culture.
Runsewe said: “This is another opportunity we have to showcase Nigerian crafts to the world and to let the world know that Nigeria is a safe place to be. We want Nigerians to know that the creative industry is capable of tackling Nigerian insecurity problems by engaging the youths in our crafts for revenue generation.”
The 2022 expo holds from August 18 to 20, 2022.
Oil & Energy5 days ago
From Coal To Gas: How Europe Is Easing Its Energy Crisis
Oil & Energy5 days ago
NLNG Denies Involvement In Illegal Gas Exportation
Oil & Energy5 days ago
NNPC Ltd Launches Crude Theft Monitoring Applications
Opinion3 days ago
Bleak Human Development Index?
Oil & Energy5 days ago
‘Seplat’s $1.28bn ExxonMobil Assets Acquisition, Contempt Of Court’
Oil & Energy5 days ago
NCDMB Lauds TotalEnergies On Ikike’s First Oil
Business5 days ago
NLNG Signs GMoU With Six Communities
Maritime5 days ago
NPA Blames Under-Utilisation Of Eastern Port On Insecurity