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The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) confirmed on Sunday the release of kidnapping kingpin, Hamisu Bala (popularly known as Wadume) from its Correctional Centre in Kuje on Friday.

Bala was set free after completing his seven-year prison term, as confirmed by NCoS officials.

Upon his release, reports indicate that he received a warm welcome from a large crowd in his hometown of Ibbi, Taraba State, on Sunday.


He was greeted by thousands of people, including youths and women, upon his arrival, with reports suggesting that he was ferried into Ibbi through the river Benue.

Wadume also visited the traditional ruler of his village to express gratitude for the support he received during his trials.

However, his release from prison has sparked mixed reactions on social media platforms.

While some expressed disbelief and criticized the celebration of a convicted criminal, others questioned the justice system and societal attitudes towards crime and punishment in Nigeria.

@MaiAgogon tweeted: “Wadume receives a heroic welcome. Wadume din dai? We’re not serious at all wallahi.”

@MizCazorla1 commented: “Wadume, the kidnap kingpin FREED. Evans, the kidnapper bags 21yrs imprisonment. Remember some police officers were shot dead while trying to arrest wadume. What’s the difference between Wadume & Evans crimes? Nigeria’s justice system”

@Abdurashid24 wrote: “What a country where we celebrate criminals as heroes Some Leaders of tomorrow go dey emulate wadume as their role model.”

@peculiaryoel raised questions about societal attitudes towards crime and punishment, stating: “The large crowd welcoming ‘Wadume’ back to his hometown raises questions about societal attitudes towards crime and punishment. Are we celebrating the return of someone who caused harm to others, or is there a deeper issue at play regarding justice and accountability in our communities?”

@Olumide504 expressed concerns about the justice system’s impact on criminal behavior, saying: “Heroic welcome for wadume! But Nigeria justice system needs revisitation. This sentence may encourage more criminal-minded persons to do evil. I’m aware soldiers & police life were lost in the process for his arrest and being a gun runner. It’s a pity.”

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