Monday, March 27, 2023

EFCC torture forced me to write confessional statement, man tells court

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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A defendant, Onyekachi Agbo, on Tuesday told Federal High Court sitting in Enugu that he wrote his confessional statement at the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, office involuntarily.

The defendant, who stated this during defence alleged that seeing EFCC torturing another suspect while in the commission’s cell made him do what they wanted him to do.

He said, “My Lord, the statement I made at EFCC on Sept. 17, 21, 22 and 27, 2021 was written out fear of being tortured like others suspects.

“They denied my family and lawyer access to see me even when I told them that I cannot make my statement without my lawyer to guide me.

The defendant, who lives at Abakpa Nike Road, Enugu, said he was arrested by the anti-graft agency for alleged internet fraud while squatting with his friends at New Haven, Enugu.

“I am a graphics designer and a student at the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu.

“I told them that everything found in my phone was what I use for graphic design work.

“The Gmail they found in my phone was what I use to do the work and they kept threatening to put me back in the cell if l fail to write my statement the way they want,” he told court.

He further said he was induced to write the statements, adding that he missed his examinations because of the arrest.

“My Lord, I am now a dropout,” he said.

Earlier during cross-examination, the EFCC Investigation Officer, Zechariah Liberty, said the defendant was brought to their office on Sept. 16, 2021, adding that him and his friends were subjected to forensic analysis.

He said after explaining to him, the defendant wrote his statements voluntarily in an open office.

Meanwhile, the lawyer to the defendant, Patrick Nwosi, also told the court that he was denied access to the defendant at EFCC office.

The presiding Judge, Justice F.O.G Ogunbanjo, however, adjourned the matter till March 23, for the adoption of written addresses.


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