Kano — On Monday, August 19, a team of policemen attached to the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team, led by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, stormed Layin Mai Allo community at the outskirts of Gezawa Local Government of Kano State and re-arrested a suspected kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Bala, popularly known as Wadume.
There are two accounts explaining how Wadume was arrested on the fateful Monday. According to one Musa Idris, a resident of the area, the suspected kidnapper was picked by some plain cloth security men at Mai Allo Plaza while he was trying to buy some goods.
"The man came to buy some items at the plaza and the security men apprehended him. The security operatives disguised as customers and entered the shop shortly after Wadume.
"Three officers waited outside the plaza while three entered inside. Few minutes later, they arrested him and dragged him into a car that was parked few meters away and whisked him away," Idris said
However, another resident, Ali Tasi'u, 17, told Daily Trust on Sunday that he was playing football few meters away from the house of the alleged kidnapper when the policemen came to arrest him. He said the police, numbering about 25, in three Hilux vans, invaded the house shortly after Zuhr prayers for the operation that led to the arrest of the suspected kidnaper.
He said the policemen, who were armed with guns, clubs and sticks, broke into the house and brought out Wadume in handcuffs, along with another young man, supposedly his brother, a friend or an accomplice.
Daily Trust on Sunday observed that many residents of the area were not aware that the operation to re-arrest the suspect was on.
Some of the residents who spoke to Daily Trust on Sunday confirmed that Wadume bought a house in the area months before he relocated about five days before the operation.
One of Wadume's neighbours, who preferred not to be named, told our correspondents that he "bought the house few months ago, but did not move in with his family until recently. He used to come and spend some days in the house. But on Wednesday, that is five days to his arrest, Wadume moved in with his family members, a woman and a young lady believed to be his daughter.
"We have never seen this man until the very Wednesday he eventually moved into the house with his family. And that day, as Allah would have it, two of them came out to take refuge from the blazing sun under a tree in front of our compound, and when I came and met them, after we greeted, the man with tribal marks said they are our new neighbours. He said he owned the house (pointing at it).
"Few minutes later, one of them went to the house, and after some minutes he returned with a food flask and some plates. By then, the sun had already overtaken the spot they were initially sitting. So, I brought them a mat and asked them to spread at another direction, away from the sun.
"When they were about to start eating, I called all our kids who were then playing outside into the house and warned them never to accept food from those strangers.
"The police that arrested Wadume did not arrest his wife and daughter. The woman and her daughter left the house in the evening of the very day Wadume was arrested. They carried a Ghana-must-go bag and some items with them as they were leaving. We don't know where they left for," he said.
There was no presence of security personnel around the house at the time our correspondents visited the area, even though some residents confirmed that some plain cloth security personnel were patrolling the area.
The ward head of the Yan Dodo Jarkuka community, Malam Isyaku Alhaji Isa Jarkuka, revealed that the area was a developing settlement and that a lot of people have been relocating to there.
He attributed Wadume's presence there to caretakers and estate agents, who are reluctant in keeping record of tenants, lamenting that he was not contacted when the said house was sold to Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume.
Our correspondents gathered that since the arrest, Wadume's house has been under lock. The house has not been demolished as it was the case of the house where Magajin Garin Daura was rescued at Gangar Ruwa in Kumbotso Local Government area, in another part of the state, about two months ago.