By Afusat Agunbiade-Oladipo
The three men charged in the April 5, 2018 bank robbery in Offa, on Friday told a High Court in Ilorin, Kwara that the confessional statements admitting to the crime, were obtained under duress while in police custody.
The police charged Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, and Adeola Abraham with criminal conspiracy to rob the banks, robbery of the banks, conspiracy to murder; the murder of nine policemen and other innocent citizens, and illegal possession of firearms.
Testifying while being led in evidence in the trial-within-trial by their counsel, Mathias Emeribe, Akinnibosun, said he was tortured and threatened by the police to make the confessional statements.
Akinnibosun alleged that Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, also asked him and the other accused persons to implicate Sen. President, Bukola Saraki.
“Abba Kyari told me to say that the Senate President Bukola Saraki gave me the guns for the operations.
“But I declined to do so contending that my life is at stake.
“He promised that they would reward me handsomely and set me free if I can indict Senator Saraki.
“When I disagreed they called some policemen to take me back to the cell.
“During this time my hands were tied to my legs,” he said.
Akinnibosun added that he was the leader of Kwara South Liberation Movement mobilising young jobless graduates for the Senator representing Kwara South District.
“The essence is to secure government jobs for the boys,” he said.
Akinnibosun, Ogunleye, and Ibrahim gave graphic details of their experience allegedly in police custody in Abuja.
During one of their encounters at the police IRT ‘theatre room,’ they alleged that one Insp Vincent shot dead five men.
Akinnibosun, Ogunleye, and Ibrahim, alleged that it was in the same ‘theatre room’ that Inspector Vincent otherwise known as ‘Mr. Torture,’ allegedly shot dead Michael Adikwu for failing to indict them in the robbery incident.
Specifically, Ogunleye said:” they brought the late Adikwu to implicate us but when he said he had not met any of us in his life, Mr. Torture shot him to death.“
After listening to the accused persons’ testimony, the presiding judge, Justice Halimat Salman adjourned the case until March 25, for the continuation of trial within trial.
NAN reports that Prosecution witness, Insp Hitila Hassan, on Thursday told the court that the suspects voluntarily gave their statements under his supervision.
Lead Prosecuting Counsel, Prof. Wahab Egbewole, sought to tender the statements as an exhibit but defence counsel, objected.