Sunday, November 28, 2021

I made my first statement under duress, Evans tells court

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An alleged kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike a.k.a Evans, has denied his confessional statement after his arrest in 2017, saying it was made under duress.

Evans told Justice Adedayo Akintoye of Igbosere High Court, Lagos on Wednesday that he signed the statement to save him from being tortured to death.

Evans is currently facing charges, bordering on conspiracy to kidnap, kidnapping and attempted murder before Justice Akintoye.

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In the first charge, Evans is standing trial alongside Joseph Emeka, Ugochukwu Nwachukwu and Victor Aduba.

In the second charge, he is standing trial alongside Joseph Emeka, Linus Okpara and Victor Aduba.

At the resumed hearing, Evans gave details of how members of Inspector General of Police (IGP) Intelligence Response Team allegedly tortured and killed several others who were paraded alongside him in his presence.

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He said that the security agents tortured the victims by suffocating them with plastic bags and threatened to do same to him if he failed to cooperate with them.

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Evans said that some sheets of papers were brought for him to sign, adding that some of the papers were blank while other had things written on them.

“When I asked what I was to sign the police officers slapped me and even quenched a cigarette on my hand.

“The officers were beating me and told me that if anything happens to me, no one will know. They hit my head and blood was gushing, the scars are still on my head.

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“When I saw how five men, who were paraded with me, were tortured and killed, I agreed to sign the papers with fear of what happened to the other men,” Evans said.

He also said that the contents of the papers he signed were not read to him and that there was no video recording during the statement taking.

Evans gave the details while a trial within a trial was conducted to ascertain whether his statement was taken under duress or not.

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He was led in evidence by his counsel, Mr O. I. Ajanuku.

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However, Evans was cross-examined by the Lagos State counsel, Mr Jide Martins, to prove that Evans statement was not taken under duress.

Earlier, the prosecution had told the court that the business of the day in the first charge was the adoption of the final written address in respect of the trial within trial done in that case.

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The Lagos State counsel, however, said that they have not been served with the address of the defence.

Ajanuku, however, assured the prosecution that they would be served by close of work on Thursday.

Justice Akintoye, after listening to the evidence, adjourned the case until Jan. 30 for continuation of hearing.


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