Suspected kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Bala (aka Wadume) was arraigned with sicx others on Monday before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
The six others are: Aliyu Dadje (a police Inspector), Auwalu Bala (aka Omo Razor), Uba Bala (aka Uba Delu) Bashir Waziri (aka Baba Runs), Zubairu Abdullahi (aka Basho) and Rayyanu Abdul.
They are all arraigned an amended charge of 13 counts bordering on terrorism, kidnapping and related offences.
On June 3, this year, a lawyer from the Federal Ministry of Justice, Shuaibu Labaran, told the court that the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) had taken over the prosecution of the case pursuant to his power under Section 174(2) of the Constitution.
Only seven of the 20 defendants were present in court on Monday and they all pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to them.
Those absent included the 10 soldiers named in the earlier charge: Ahmed Tijani Balarabe (Captain), David Isiah (Staff Sergeant), Ibrahim Mohammed (Sergeant), Bartholomew Obanye (Corporal), Mohammed Nura (Private), Okoroze Gideon (Lnace Corporal), Markus Michael (Corporal), Nvenaweimoemi Akpagra (Lance Corporal), Abdullahi Adamu (Staff Sergeant) and Ebele Emmanuel (Private).
Also absent were: Aondona A. Iorbee, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Ahmad Suleiman (aka Dan Ball) and Hafizu Bala (aka Mai Welder).
Wadume and others were arrested in Taraba State following last year’s ambush on a team of policemen who had gone to arrest Wadume resulting in the killing of three policemen died in the incident.