A prosecution witness, Felix Adolije, in the ongoing trial of a kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu, aka Wadume, before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday, painted a picture on how he alongside his colleagues allegedly escaped being killed by soldiers at roadblocks along Ibi town in Taraba State when they fired shots at their operational vehicle.
This, Adolije insisted that the gun allegedly fired at them by the soldiers caused their vehicle to somersault three times.
The Office of the Attorney- General of the Federation and Minister of Justice had taken over the case from the police to enhance speedy trial.
Meanwhile, at the resumed trial, counsel to all parties expressed readiness 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.
But while testifying further on the incident, Adolije, a serving Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) attached to the IGP response team, said he alongside one Sergeant Emmanuel, narrowly escaped death.
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. “When we got to Jalingo on August 5, we reported to the State Commissioner of Police in Taraba and told him our mission.
“He 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 kilometers, a sergeant who knew the terrain was attached to us and we wore our operational vest and faze-cap all through.
“On our way, we met three roadblocks mounted by police, mobile police force and the last one by soldiers. “We stopped at each roadblock to explain our mission on request.
“One of the soldiers said 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 tinted glass vehicle.
“After further explanations, they allowed us to proceed. As soon as we left the scene, not long after, we noticed a Sharon bus with full-light trailing us. 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 for safety. It was already 7p.m. or thereabout. I later saw Sergeant Emma where I was hidden and we were both trying to escape into 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.”
The trial Judge, Justice Binta Nyako, adjourned the matter to July 1, for continuation of trial, cross-examination of witnesses and ruling on bail applications made on behalf of the defendants