Monday, May 10, 2021

IPOB: SSS electrocuted me, witness tells in court


Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan is a 30-year-old graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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Chidiebere Onwudiwe, a member of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, on Wednesday, told the Federal High Court, Abuja that officials of the Department of State Security Services, SSS, allegedly electrocuted him while was in their custody.

Mr Onwudiwe was testifying as a witness in the trial-within-trial ordered by the court to ascertain the veracity of his claim that DSS officials coerced him to give them a statement.

The witness who was led in evidence by his counsel, Ifeanyi Ejiofor also told the court that he was locked up in an underground cell in blindfold.

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“I was brought from Port Harcourt to Abuja in July 2016, blindfolded, chained and kept in a room.

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” After some days, they took me to another facility within the DSS premises called New Echo. It was there I met Mr CB who told me to make a statement but I asked him what my offence was.

“Then one man that looked like the boss slapped me from the back and asked me: ‘Do you want to die here, there is nothing like a lawyer here, you will write what we tell you to write” and he assigned me to Mr CB.

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” I was then sent to a smaller room in the basement, with an air-conditioning system of about two horsepower where I slept on tiles with only my boxers on.

‘I spent about a month there, blindfolded and drinking water from the tap,” the witness told the court.

He further told the court that apart from the data page of his statement, every other thing on the statement was written by the DSS officials for him to rewrite.

Under cross examination by the prosecutor, Shuaibu Labaran, the witness said that the only thing that was recognisable to him on the statements he was compelled to recopy was IPOB.

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The trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako directed counsel to file, serve and exchange written addresses.

She adjourned the matter until May 28, for counsel to address the court.

The court ordered the trial-within-trial on Tuesday after Ejiofor told the court that his client alleged that all the statements he gave to the DSS were obtained under duress.

Onwudiwe is standing trial alongside Bright Chimezie,  Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi, on an amended three-count charge bordering on conspiracy to commit treasonable felony and improper importation of goods.


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