Latest update on offa robbery
Recall of the offa robbery, trial of the five suspects involved in the Offa bank robbery in April 2018 continued on Friday at the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin, the State capital.
The Suspect were arraigned before Justice Salman Halimah, the trial judge. During their arraignment before the Court, the suspects told the court how their confessional statements were forcefully obtained by the police.
The first suspect, Ayoade Akinnibosun, in his statement, told the trial judge that he gave his statement under duress and threat.
He told the court that, due to his refusal to implicate the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, he was tortured and shot in his two legs, alleging that the police asked him to make a false statement.
Akinnibosun claimed that five men were shot dead in his presence and that of other suspects, in order to force them to do the bid of the police.
He alleged that he was forced to sleep on the spot where the men were killed, adding that his hands and legs were tied for days.
The suspect also told the court that six hefty stones were placed on his back and denied food for nearly one week while he was being tortured.
"They kept us inside the generator room at the Police Headquarters in Abuja while a dismissed police officer, identified as Michael Adiukwu, was brought to identify us if we were part of the robbery gang".
According to the Suspect, the man (dismissed police officer) denied knowing them and was shot dead on the spot.
Afterwards, he said he was shown an already written statement which he was asked to sign and agreed to do so for fear of being killed.
The suspect insisted that whatever he said during the parade of the press conference was written for him to memorise and confess to the public.
He also claimed the police warned him not to implicate any of them as the statement was made under duress.
Akinnibosun told the trial judge that he was given a four-page statement to sign but he could not because his fingers were not functioning due to torture.
He said his fingers was placed on the documents for thumb printing and he was denied the opportunity to go through the document.
After giving his statement, the suspect was cross-examined by the prosecution counsel.
The defence counsel, Mathias Emeribe, nevertheless asked for further medical checkup to determine if the wounds sustained by the Suspect were gunshot wound.
The judge, however turned down the request until proper trial.
The second accused, Ibikunle Ogunleye, was thereafter called to the dock and he corroborated the first accused, Akinnibosun’s testimony of how he was tortured and how Michael Adiukwu was killed.
In his testimony, the third accused person Abraham Adeola also repeated the same process of how they were tortured both at the Ilorin and Abuja station of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS).
David Kupah is a writer, social media influencer, motivator, an activist, Entrepreneur and an independent blogger at Asorock Online (AsorockOnline)