Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
A suspect in last year’s robbery attacks on commercial banks in Offa, Kwara State, Ayoade Akinnibosun, yesterday told an Ilorin High Court, how the police asked him to implicate the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
Akinnibosun and two other suspects, Ibikunle Ogunleye (2nd accused person) and Adeola Abraham (3rd accused person) narrated before the court, how police extracted statement from them by force during the course of investigation of the dastardly robbery incident.
The suspects also disclosed that the principal suspect in the robbery incident, a dismissed police officer, Michael Adikwu, was shot dead by one Inspector Vincent attached to the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
Akinnibosun, Ogunleye and Abraham were examined and cross-examined by their counsel, Mathias Emeribe, and prosecution counsel, Razaq Gold, in a trial within trial on how they were tortured and threatened by the police to make confessional statements. Prosecution witness, Inspector Hitila Hassan had 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 exhibit but the defence counsel, Mathias Emeribe objected. Emeribe argued that the statements were not voluntarily taken, noting that they fell short of the provisions of the Evidence Act, particularly sections 28 and 29.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, Akinnibosun said, “Abba Kyari told me to mention the name of Senate President Bukola Saraki that he gave me the guns for the operations. But, I declined, and he said that my life is at stake.
“He (Abba Kyari) 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 their cell. During this time my hands were tied to my legs in the back.”
The suspect added that he was the leader of Kwara South Liberation Movement, mobilising young jobless graduates for the Senator representing Kwara South district in the upper legislative chamber, Dr. Rafiu Ibrahim. The essence is to secure government jobs for the boys, he said. Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye and Adeola Ibrahim gave graphic details of their horrifying experience allegedly in the police custody in Abuja.
During one of their encounters at the police IRT ‘theatre room,’ they said, in their presence, Inspector Vincent allegedly shot dead five Fulani men.
‘The theatre room,’ according to them is the generator room of the IRT’s office and it also doubles as where suspects are extra-judicially executed.
They added 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.
According to Ibikunle Ogunleye, “they brought the late Adikwu to implicate us and he said he had not met any of us in his life that is why Mr. Torture shot him to death.”
The trial judge, Justice Halimat Salman, rose at about 6:45 pm to adjourn the case to March 25, 2019 for the continuation of the trial- within-trial.