Alleged Murder: I Wrote Statement Under Duress, Defendant Tells Court

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A defendant, Mathew Ankyoor, in a case of alleged culpable homicide told an FCT High Court, Maitama, on Friday that he was forced to write a confessional statement dictated to him by the police.

Ankyoor is standing trial on a three-count charge bordering on killing his wife who was pregnant.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the defendant who was first arraigned on Oct. 24, 2017, had pleaded not guilty.

The judge, Justice Peter Affen, ordered for trial – within- trial to ascertain the voluntariness of the statement made by Ankyoor to the police.

Affen gave the order after the defendant’s counsel, Ocheme Adama, objected to the tendering of the statement in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Donatus Abah, through his first witness, Insp. Raymond Isama

Ankyoor, led in evidence by his counsel, Adama, told the court that he was brought from Lugbe on June 9, 2017, to FCT Police Command Office, Homicide Section, where he made a statement.

” The words were dictated to me, I was slapped, hit and forced to write what they(police ) are dictating to me.

“ The statements like `I was surprised,’ `my wife blocked my way and held the T-shirt I was wearing so strong’ and `I brought a taxi and took her to Wuse General Hospital, ” were also dictated to me.

The prosecution witness, ASP John Utache, who endorsed the statements of Ankyoor, told the court that the confessional statements were made by the defendant voluntarily.

” He wrote it voluntarily, he was not tortured , intimidated nor under duress, he told me he wrote it voluntarily when he was brought by Insp. Raymond Isama, of the Homicide Section of the FCT Police Command,’’ he said.

The judge after listening to the counsel and witnesses adjourned until March 20, for adoption of written addresses on the trial-within –trial, and April 16 for continuation of hearing.(NAN)

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