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Absence of judge stalls trial of kidnap kingpin, Wadume, others

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The absence of Justice Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, hindered the continuation of trial of kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu, popularly known as Wadume.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Nyako had, on July 1, after refusing to admit Wadume to bail, fixed Tuesday for trial continuation.

Although the prosecution and defence counsel, alongside Wadume and other defendants, were in court, the case could not proceed.

The court clerk gave counsel in the All matter July 13 for continuation of trial.

NAN reports that the judge had declined to grant Hamisu bail along with six others standing trial for kidnapping, possession of firearms and dealing in prohibited firearms, contrary to Section 27 (1)(a)(I) and (1)(b)(iii) of the Firearms Act.

Justice Nyako refused to admit the defendants to bail on the ground that she had already ordered an accelerated hearing of the matter.

Nyako also ordered that Wadume and others should be moved from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the police to the Kuje Correctional Centre.

The authorities of the correctional centre were ordered to allow the defendants to have access to medical facilities as well as their lawyers.

NAN reports that the Federal Government on June 8, arraigned Wadume and six other on a 13-count charge, bordering on terrorism.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has denied shielding from trial, the 10 soldiers who allegedly killed three policemen in Taraba State last year, while rescuing suspected kidnap kingpin, Wadume from the police team.

Malami gave an update on the case on Wednesday at the virtual Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari with several other ministers in attendance.

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