A suspect facing trial for his alleged involvement in the April 5, Banks robbery in Offa, Kwara State, has accused the Nigeria Police Force, of forcing him to indict Bukola Saraki, thereby exonerating the Senate President.
The suspect, Friday Akininibosin, was speaking at a High Court, in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on Friday.
Akininibosin who is facing trial with four others for the robbery, also told the court that he had no personal knowledge of Mr. Saraki, before he was arrested.
According to Tribune Newspaper, the suspect said that a former Police Officer, allegedly involved in the robbery, Michael Adikwu, was killed for his inability to go with the alleged plan of the Prosecutors.
Akininibosin accused the Police of masterminding his confession, which he claims was written for him by Police Officers.
“My hands and legs were tied to the back, and suspended in between two tables by iron rod for like 1 hour 30 minutes. Then the Senior Police Officer, Abba Kyari, came around to tell me that I should say that it was the Senate President that gave us guns to rob Offa Banks”, the paper said, quoting the Defendant
“I told him my life is at stake here, and that I would not do such. Then, he said I should do that for them and that they will pay me, and thereafter set me free. I disagreed and was carried back to the cell on his instruction, as I could not walk”, he added.
Abba Kyari is the Police Officer who led the team that arrested the suspects.
Kyari has also led his team to effect the arrests of other major crime suspects across Nigeria. Him and his team have however, been accused of human rights abuses and corruption, charges he has denied.
The paper also quoted Akininibosin as saying that the Police intimidated them, by killing five men in their presence and ordering them (the accused) to lie on the bodies of the dead people.
“I was shot on my two legs. I was later taken to Abba Kyari’s Office, where he asked to know if I was ready to cooperate and I said yes, and pleaded not to kill me. The next day was when Michael Adikwu was brought to identify us, and say what connected us together. The dismissed Officer said he did not know us, and after much torture, he was shot dead in our presence.”
The Police had confirmed Adikwu’s death in its custody, but said he died of natural causes.
According to the paper, the Defendant said that a Journalist was later brought in, who took his confessional statement, allegedly made under duress.
“I was panicked, thinking I was next to die. Later, a female TV Journalist was brought by a Police Officer with a note, saying that was what they wanted me to say, and that if not, I will “travel”, meaning, I would be killed.
“That was how I agreed in the presence of the female Journalist, who recorded, while I was also beaten at interval.”
During cross examination however, the Prosecution questioned the facts in the Defendants claim, citing parts of the statements attributed to Akininibosin, which could only have been known by him.
According to the Prosecution Lawyer, the witness’ claim that the statement was written for him, does not support the authenticity of personal information contained in his witness statement.