A suspect in the bloody April 5, 2018 Offa bank robbery, in Kwara State, Salahudeen Azeez, on Friday narrated how six suspects were allegedly killed in his presence by policemen in Abuja to the State high court sitting in Ilorin and presided over by Justice Haleemat Salman.
It would be recalled that scores of suspects allegedly involved in the robbery were rounded up by the IG’s rapid response team, led by Abba Kyari and moved to Abuja, but were brought back to Kwara State for trial.
However, only five of the suspects are currently facing trial in the alleged bank robbery.
Azeez told the court that the six suspects were killed in his presence to compel him to admit his alleged involvement in the bloody bank robbery at Offa where over 30 people including policemen were reportedly killed.
Defence counsel to the accused, Mathias Eberebe, however, prayed the court to order the exhumation of the principal suspect in the robbery, Michael Adikwu who allegedly died in police custody in Abuja.
He said “attempts by the prosecution to impress it on the court that there are only five suspects in the case amounts to suppression of facts.”
Azeez counsel recalled that when the case first came up in October 2018, ‘six suspects were listed on the charge sheet, including Michael Adikwu who the police later claimed died in their custody.”
According to Azeez’s account, “one Inspector Vincent killed Michael Adikwu in my presence,” and “they forced me to thumbprint a statement already prepared by the police against my consent.”
Azeez, the fourth defendant in the case, alleged that he was seriously tortured, adding that they also shot Akinnibosun Adeola and Ogunleye on their legs in my presence.”
“They threatened to kill me but I begged that I didn’t do anything wrong. They said I and Ogunleye robbed Offa and I denied but they insisted,” he added.
But Abdulwahab Egbewole, the prosecution counsel, said that the contradictions on the dates when the suspects claimed they were interrogated and the police records showed that they were not being truthful about their alleged torture.
Egbewole, therefore, urged the court to admit the confessional statements by the suspects.
All the five suspects, Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Salahudeen Azeez, and Niyi Ogundiran were present in court.
Justice Salman adjourned the case till July 22, 2020, for further hearing.