Justice Hakeem Oshodi of an Ikeja High Court on Friday told alleged kidnap kingpin Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, a.k.a. Evans, that there was no proof that he was tortured by the Police.
Giving a ruling admitting Evans’ June 11, 2017 confessional statement into evidence, Justice Oshodi noted that the 1999 Constitution did not require that statements to the Police must be in a specific form.
He also said that based on Evans’ videotaped confession played in court on October 26, 2018, there was no proof that Evans was tortured to provide details of his alleged misdeeds.
The judge said: “In the video that was played in open court, the first defendant was cautioned and he signed a word of caution. When he was asked his profession, he said he was a businessman. He said so with a smile.
“In the video, the first defendant asked the investigating Police officer to write his statement on his behalf. The first defendant sat on a sofa and after the recording of the statement, the first defendant signed.
“In the video, the court cannot see any coercion directed at the first defendant.
“When the witness for the prosecution was cross-examined, he categorically stated that the first defendant was not tortured when his statement was taken.”
Justice Oshodi said the alleged kidnap kingpin did not provide any evidence to court to back the allegations of extra- judicial killings he made against the Police.
“The first defendant has not provided evidence of any inducement, threat or promise in the trial-within-trial.
“The court is not unmindful that the first defendant said he was slapped; cigarettes extinguished on his hands and saw people being murdered by the Police.
“The allegation that the Police murdered some people is a criminal allegation that he did not prove and there is no blood seen in the video.
“The first defendant did not give any evidence as to the treatment of the injuries he sustained.
“The first defendant did not contradict any part of the video played. There is no proof that the statement was made involuntarily.
“The statement is admitted and marked Exhibit B,” he said.
Following the ruling, Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution, Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey, requested for an adjournment due to the absence of the fourth prosecution witness, Inspector Idowu Haruna.
“My Lord, unfortunately the prosecution witness is not in court and we will have to ask for an adjournment. The witness sustained injury in an accident and he is still recovering from the injury,” she said.
Evans’ defence counsel, Mr. Olanrewaju Ajanaku, had no objection to the request for an adjournment.
Justice Oshodi adjourned the case until February 22 for continuation of Haruna’s evidence and also of the trial.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that during the trial-within-trial held on October 26, 2018, Evans claimed that his alleged confessional statement to the Police was not obtained voluntarily.
The suspect alleged that Police officers tortured him and made him to witness executions in a bid to get him to admit to his alleged crimes.
Evans is standing trial alongside Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu and Victor Aduba.
The six were arraigned on August 30, 2017 on two counts of conspiracy and kidnap of the Chief Executive Officer of Maydon Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Donatus Dunu, from whose family they allegedly collected 223,000 Euro (N100m) as ransom.
Evans and his co-defendants have pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
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