Offa theft: I volunteered statement under duress, says suspect

 

ONE of the suspects within the April 5, 2018 theft incident in Offa, Kwara State, Salawu Azeez, on Friday informed the State High Court in Ilorin, the state capital, that the police extracted confessional statement from him by threatening his life.

Azeez additionally narrated how policemen allegedly shot six individuals lifeless in his presence in Abuja.

 

He mentioned that the policemen interrogating him did so purposely to coerce him to confess his alleged participation within the financial institution theft assaults in Offa the place 18 folks, together with policemen, had been reportedly killed.

All the accused individuals, Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Salahudeen Azeez and Niyi Ogundiran, had been current in courtroom.

Azeez, the fourth defendant, had mentioned earlier throughout cross examination within the trial inside trial: “That identical day, Inspector Hassan directed Officer Vincent to go and convey 5 folks from someplace. They requested me to observe what they might do to the 5 individuals and that they might do identical to me if I didn’t cooperate with them.

“They killed the 5 individuals in my presence. They additionally shot Akinnibosun, Adeola and Ogunleye within the legs in my presence. They threatened to kill me however I began begging that I didn’t do something incorrect.

“They mentioned Ogunleye and I robbed in Offa and I denied this, however they insisted. They beat me mercilessly inside a generator home in any other case referred to as theatre.

“It is a lie that they interrogated me in a conducive surroundings.

“On the second day, I was introduced out once more from the cell. They confirmed a person to me and requested me whether or not I knew him. The man is Michael Adikwu. I mentioned I didn’t know him.

“They additionally requested him whether or not he is aware of me however he mentioned no. They killed him in my presence.

“I pleaded with them to not kill me as a result of my youngsters are nonetheless younger.

“They tied me down and hung me once more. I then requested them what they wished from me when the torture grew to become insufferable.”

Salawu additional claimed that he was pressured to thumb print a statement already ready by the police towards his consent.

 

This was whilst defence counsel, Mathias Emeribe, prayed the courtroom to order the exhumation of the corpse of a principal suspect within the theft, Michael Adikwu, who allegedly died in police custody in Abuja.

This, he mentioned, was obligatory to find out whether or not the reason for Adikwu’s loss of life was pure or in any other case.

He mentioned that makes an attempt by the prosecution to impress it on the courtroom that there are solely 5 suspects within the case quantity to suppression of information.

 

He recalled that when the case first got here up in October 2018, six suspects had been listed on the cost sheet, together with Michael Adikwu, who the police later claimed to have died of their custody.

Mr. Emeribe due to this fact urged the courtroom to not depend on the confessional statements of the suspects.

He added that the contradictions within the proof of prosecution “aren’t witnesses of reality,” urging “the courtroom to carry that the prosecution is mendacity.”

 

But prosecution counsel, Prof Abdulwahab Egbewole (SAN), mentioned that contradictions within the dates when the suspects claimed they had been interrogated and the police information confirmed that they had been solely cooking up tales about their alleged torture and coercion.

He due to this fact urged the courtroom to not admit the confessional statements by the suspects.

The presiding decide, Justice Haleema Salman, adjourned the case to July 22.

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