One of the suspects being tried for last year’s bank robberies in Offa, Kwara State, Ayoade Akinnibosun, on Friday told an Ilorin High Court that the Michael Adikwu, a principal suspect and the mastermind behind the robberies, was deliberately murdered by the police investigators.
Testifying before the court in a “trial within trial”, Ayoade also explained how the police asked him to implicate the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, in the robbery incidents.
Akinnibosun and two other accused, Ibikunle Ogunleye and Adeola Abraham, alleged that they made their statements under duress.
Ayoade, while responding to questions during cross-examination by the defence counsel, Mathias Emeribe, noted that Adikwu, who was the mastermind of the robberies, was shot dead by one Inspector Vincent attached to the police Intelligence Response Team.
The suspects alleged that they were tortured and threatened by the police to make their confessional statements.
However, the prosecution witness, Inspector Hitila Hassan, had on Thursday told the court that the suspects voluntarily made their statements under his supervision.
Lead prosecuting counsel, Prof Wahab Egbewole, sought to tender the statements as exhibits but Emeribe objected.
Emeribe argued that the accused did not volunteer their statements which the prosecution wanted to tender before the court, noting that they fell short of the provisions of the Evidence Act, particularly sections 28 and 29.
The hearing took a new twist at the resumption of hearing on Friday, when Akinnibosun said, “Abba Kyari told me to say that the Senate President Bukola Saraki gave me the guns we used for the operations. But I declined.
“He (Abba Kyari) promised that they would reward me handsomely and set me free if I could indict Saraki. When I disagreed, they asked some policemen to take me back to the cell. During this time, my hands were tied to my legs.”
The suspect, who claimed to be the leader of Kwara South Liberation Movement mobilising young jobless graduates for the representative of Kwara South at the Senate, Dr Rafiu Ibrahim, also accused Inspector Vincent of killing five Fulani men when they were kept at the IRT ‘theatre room’.
They added that it was in the same ‘theatre room that Inspector Vincent, popularly known as Mr Torture, allegedly shot dead Adikwu for failing to indict them.
Ogunleye said “they brought the late Adikwu to implicate us and he said he had not met any of us in his life – that was why Mr Torture shot him to death.”
The trial Judge, Justice Halimat Salman, adjourned the case till March 25, 2019 for the continuation of trial within trial.