paris: Rumors of the footballer’s alleged demise gained traction on Sunday after a ‘R.I.P. Pelé’ Facebook page attracted nearly one million ‘likes’, international news agencies reported.
However, on Monday (July 15) the footballer’s representatives officially confirmed that Pelé is not dead. “He joins the long list of celebrities who have been victimized by this hoax. He’s alive and well, stop believing what you see on the Internet,” they said.
Taraba Killings: Soldiers risk dismissal as panel concludes investigation
The Investigative Panel put up by the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, to look into the killing of three policemen in Ibi, Taraba State, has concluded its report and would submit it to the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Abayomi Olonisakin, on Monday.
Top military sources said the report was believed to have indicted some army and police personnel as well as a few civilians, noting that the officers and soldiers would likely face court-martial and dismissal, “going by their level of culpability.”, Punch reports.
The panel concluded its work on Friday after sitting for three days at the Defence Intelligence Agency, Abuja, during which it grilled army officers, soldiers, policemen and the suspected kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Wadume.
The seven-man Joint Investigative Panel, which is led by Rear Admiral Ibikunle Olaiya, has top officers drawn from the police, army, navy, air force, the Department of State Services and the DIA.
A source close to the panel had said the officers cross-examined Wadume, after he had earlier made some confessions in a police video, where he indicted army officers and soldiers over his escape.
The police had on Monday night arrested Wadume at a hideout in the Layin Mai Allo Hotoro area of Kano State, following a manhunt by the police special forces and Intelligence Response Team members in Taraba and the surrounding states.
In the video released by the police on Twitter, Wadume had said in Hausa, “My name is Hamisu Bala Wadume. The police came to arrest me. When they arrested me, the army chased after them and opened fire. From there, they (soldiers) took me to their headquarters and cut off my handcuffs and released me. I went back to my house, but the police came to re-arrest me.”
A source in the DHQ told our correspondent on Friday that the panel had concluded its work and culpable soldiers would not escape court-martial and dismissal.
The source did not know the number of officers and soldiers indicted by the report.
The source said, “The panel had been in Abuja for a few days. They sat at the Defence Intelligence Agency. The panel had put its report together. They are going to submit by Monday back to the CDS.
“All the officers and soldiers identified have already been grilled. The outcome and culpability of the personnel will determine their court-martial and dismissal. But if they are deeply involved, their trial is automatic.”
Military sources said that the custom was that the panel report would be approved by the CDS, and recommendations made before the details could be made open.
Oyo Tribunal: Court Reserves Judgement
The Election Petitions Tribunal headed by Justice Suraju Muhammadu on Friday reserved judgment on the petition filed by Chief Bayo Adelabu and his party, the All Progressives Congress, challenging Seyi Makinde’s victory in the March 9 governorship poll in Oyo State.
Makinde polled 515,621 to defeat Adelabu, who polled 357,982 in the election.
However, Adelabu rejected the results and headed for the tribunal, claiming Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party was wrongly declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
During the proceedings, the petitioners called a total number of 69 witnesses and tendered 4,166 documents which were admitted as evidence.
The respondents also tendered documents.
Upon the adoption of the final written addresses by the lawyers on behalf of their clients, the tribunal reserved judgment on the petition, saying it would be delivered on a day to be communicated to the parties.
Speaking with journalists after the proceedings, Adelabu said, “We have shown to the whole world that there were many infractions during the election in the state and victory shall be ours.”
But the Assistant Organising Secretary of the PDP in the state, Bidoun Popoola, said, “I’m optimistic that we will be victorious because you don’t change what God has established.”
I am a political thug, got N6m from a sitting governor; N13m from APC for 2019 Election – Wadume makes shocking revelation
Suspected kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Balla, a.k.a Wadume, who has been in the middle of the raging storm between the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police over the murder of three police operatives and two civilians by soldiers in Ibi town, Taraba state has finally opened up and made startling revelations.
Hamisu Wadume In an exclusive interview with Saturday Vanguard, gave a detailed account of his encounter with both the police and his Army Captain friend in charge of the 93 Battalion, Wukari who aided his escape after his initial arrest by the police.
Wadume who expressed shock at the manner the soldiers opened fire on the Police Toyota Hiace Bus that was conveying him to the Taraba Police Command Headquarters in Jalingo said while he also sustained bullet wounds on his right thigh after the shootings, he never asked the army captain to rescue him from the policemen who arrested him.
He also explained that as at the time he crawled out of the bullet ridden bus, which somersaulted three times before landing into the bush, the policemen were still alive but he was surprised to see the soldiers who had pursued them to the check-point raining bullets on the policemen before he was whisked in a red colored car, to the home of the army captain.
He added that after his leg chain and handcuffs were cut off by a welder invited by the army captain, he was greeted by a large crowd of residents of Ibi who were standing beside the corpses of the deceased policemen who were all brought to the home of the army captain.
With the sum of N550,000 in his pocket after he was rescued, Wadume said he fled Ibi Town and was hiding in the house of one of his friends, Meito, at Ungwachiki town but 24 hours, later some soldiers trailed him to his friend’s house and wanted to kill him.
He therefore jumped out of the window and fled to the river bank, boarded a speed boat into Tunga area of Nassarawa State, where he spent a night before moving to the home of his maternal uncle in Kano State.
My name is Hamisu Balla, alias Wadume, 33 years old and I am from Ibi Local Government Area of Taraba State.
I am married to four wives and I have four children. I attended Bula Primary school Ibi, but I dropped out from Government Secondary School Ibi at JSS 3. After I dropped out school, I started fishing business at the River Benue that flowed through Ibi Town.
This was in 1996 and I did fishing for six years, but in the year 2002, I went into fishpond business. I used to buy fingerlings for N30 per one, nurture them for five months before selling them for N600 and N700. I started small with just two small ponds but I went on to get five more big ponds with 50 by 50 in size and five feet deep.
“I am not a kidnapper, but I have sold arms to several kidnappers. I am a fisher farmer, I own fish ponds, I own a transport business. I am equally a political thug. I went into crime when some politicians came for me, they approached me through one Babangida Musa, who was also into fishing business. I got N6m from a sitting governor, N13m from APC, defrauded civil servant of N30m.
In June 2018, I deceived a lot of politicians who were vying for political offices that I had spiritual powers to enable them win their elections. I defrauded the governor when he came to Ibi and met the youths in my town.
As the leader of the youths, the Governor met me and I promised to work for him and to also consult some Mallams who would pray for his success. The Governor gave me N2 million at first and we exchanged telephone numbers. But one week before the election, the governor called me and asked me to come to the Government house and when I got there the governor gave me N4 million cash to continue with the prayers.
Immediately after the election, the governor called to thank me.
I was also given N13 million by the APC to execute the 2019 presidential election but I spent only seven million.
I also defrauded a civil servant from Ibi of N30million.
I contested the Taraba state house of Assembly under the YDP Ibi Local Government but I pulled out of the election and took my supporters to the PDP.
My initial arrest by the police
I volunteered to follow the policemen when they came to arrest me at Ibi Town while I was drinking tea with some of my friends.
They showed me their identity cards indicating that they were from the office of the Inspector General of Police and I volunteered to follow them, because I knew I could settle any problem I’m confronted with.
The policemen handcuffed me and leg-chained me while I was inside their vehicle and the Army Captain wasn’t even there when the policemen came to arrest me and I don’t even know who informed him that I had been arrested.
While I was being taken out of Ibi, Town, the policemen passed the first check point which was being maned by some soldiers after they had identified themselves.
They also passed the second check point which was maned by some Mobile Policemen. But when they got to the third one, where we were attacked, four of the policemen alighted from their bus and they identified themselves to the policemen and exchanged banters.
I was shocked when the soldiers came after us and rained bullets on our bus, killing those policemen. I was almost killed in the encounter. I was then taken to the army captain’s house.
When I saw the corpses of the policemen and their agents in front of the Captain’s house, I became very disturbed and I pretended as if I wanted to urinate and I escaped from the scene.
How I escaped from soldiers who wanted to kill me
I called one Audu who is one of my boys who took me on his bike to Ungwachiki Town in Ibi Local Government and I passed the night in the house of Meito, my friend. But while I was there, some soldiers came to Meito’s house and started looking for me and they were armed with guns and machetes and axes, I believed they wanted to kill me.
I don’t know how they got information that I was in that house but I managed to escape through the window and fled to the river bank around 8pm where I boarded a speed boat to Tunga village in Nassarawa State.
I spent a night in Nassarawa state before I boarded another commercial bus to Kano State. People couldn’t recognize me because of the Sallah holiday.
I had N500,000 with me as I was running from the police and I took the money to my uncle’s house where I went to hide in Kano.
While I was hiding, I instructed one of my bothers in Ibi to go to my house and take away all my rifles.
My cousin also brought an idea that I needed some favorable stories to be written about me, so he engaged a PR company who were to link up with journalists to write the stories. I paid N3million for that.
Confession of Wadume’s cousin
I’m Kawu Moahmmed Kasuwa, 30 years old from Ibi Taraba State, I am a civil servant and I work with Ibi Local Government. I am an executive officer at the Admin Department.
Wadume is my uncle, he is a younger brother to my mother. I was arrested in Zaria, because I made efforts to get journalists to write a favorable story in support of my uncle Wadume who was being hunted by the police.
It wasn’t my idea, but one of my uncles who was residing in Lagos State, Ismalia Jita who called me and said that he wasn’t happy with the bad press my Uncle, Wadume was getting since the incident occurred. He wanted me to raise some money to give to the reporters so they could come down to Ibi and speak with the natives and get a good story about the incident which will be favorable to Wadume.
I asked for N3m and they sent me their company’s account number and I gave it to my brother, Awal who knew how the money was paid to the media out fit.
I was arrested in Zaria while the police were looking for my uncle, Wadume. But I took them to my other uncle Awal in Abuja who I thought could help in their search for Wadume.
I’ve always been suspicious of Wadume—Elder brother
My name is Auwal Balla, I’m 38 years old, married with four children, I am commercial motorcycle rider at Alaba Rago Market in Lagos. I am known as Auwal Wawa.
Wadume is my younger brother and we were born of the same father and mother. I knew my brother to be a fish farmer, a transporter, political thug and a kidnapper.
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 who were killed by the soldiers he called.
When Wadume called and asked me to help him hide all his rifles in his house, I asked him what he was doing with all those rifles and he said he was using them for politics.
Then I called one Uban Delu, my step brother and asked him to go to where Wadume kept his rifles and take them away and hide them in a 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 and the people who were to lead me to the Honorable member asked me to come to Abuja.
While I was in Abuja, one of my nephews, Kawul called and suggested that we should get some media men to write favorable stories for him that will change people’s perception about 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 company which I forwarded to Wadume and he credited the company with that money.
I was in Abuja when the police came and arrested me and I confessed that I have been in constant communication with my brother since he was rescued from the police and I also knew that he was in my uncle’s house in Kano.
I have always been suspicious of my brother because he was spending too much money and since his business was such that couldn’t yield big money but he always told 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.
Why I harboured Wadume in my house—Uncle
I’m Rayyanu Abdul, 46, from Kano State. I am married to a wife and I have six children. I am a civil servant and I work with Kano State Senior Secondary School Management Board, Kano.
I am Wadume’s uncle, his mother is my elder sister.
Wadume told me that he was into fish farming, car sales and cattle rearing but 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, Alhaji Hamisu Balla, Wadume and that was when I knew that it was my younger brother that was in the middle of the storm and I became very shocked.
Wadume’s elder brother, Auwal then called me and asked me if I had heard what happened to Wadume and I said yes. Wadume also called me himself and told me he was coming to my house but I asked him to stop at a filling station close to my house where I went to pick him up and took him into my house.
When I discovered that Wadume had an injury on his thigh, I brought a doctor who started treating him. Wadume gave me N270,000 to stock the house with enough food stuff and my wife was preparing food for him.
He took tea in the morning, ate rice in the afternoon and in the night he would take ‘tuwo’.
In 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 and I told them, I only had land on which I had built the foundation and I took Wadume to the site. He saw what I had done and he promised to complete the building for me.
Early this year, he came and completed the building and he furnished it for me. The building is a three bedroom apartment. When he came with his injury, I gave him my room and I moved into my wives’ room and he was staying alone in his room. I don’t know if he was praying regularly in his room.
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