The trial of the five suspects allegedly involved in the Offa bank robbery in April 2018 continued on Friday at the State High Court sitting in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital. It had all the markings of a horror story, and if true, it presents the criminality of the Nigerian Police Force in stark relief.
According to the suspects in the robbery incident who were arraigned before Justice Halimah Salman, the police employed all sorts of underhand and illegal tactics to extract a confession from them.
Suspect 1: Ayoade Akinnibosun, explained how he was allegedly shot in his two legs by the police who asked him to implicate senate president Bukola Saraki. But he was lucky to be alive. He testified that five men were shot dead in his presence and that of other suspects, in order to force them to do as the police demanded.
Other allegations against the police:
- That he was forced to sleep on the spot where the men were killed, with his hands and legs tied for days.
- That six hefty stones were placed on his back and he was denied food for nearly one week while he was being tortured.
- That the suspects were kept inside the generator room at the Police Headquarters Abuja while a dismissed police officer, identified as Michael Adiukwu, was brought to confirm if they were part of the robbery gang. According to Akinnibosun, the man denied knowing them and was shot dead on the spot.
- After Adikwu’s murder, the suspect said he was shown an already written statement and asked to sign it. he claimed that he did it in order to avoid being killed. He insisted that all he said when the police paraded him before the press were things written for him to memorize and confess to the public.
Meanwhile, the defense counsel, Mathias Emeribe, asked for a medical checkup to determine if the wounds Akinnibosun sustained were truly from gunshots. Justice Salman, however, turned down the request until proper trial.
Suspect 2, Ibikunle Ogunleye and Suspect 3, Abraham Adeola, both corroborated Akinnibosun’s testimony of the torture and murder they experienced at the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) office in Ilorin and Abuja.