Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of an Ikeja Special Offences Court on Friday held that alleged kidnap kingpin, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike alias Evans, and Victor Aduba, a dismissed soldier, made voluntary statements to the police regarding their alleged involvement in kidnappings.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in a ruling on Friday, the judge said that Evans and Aduba, during a trial-within-trial to determine the admissibility of their statements to the police, never provided to the court any proof of coercion or torture.
“The video of the first defendant (Evans), giving his statement, was played in open court. The first defendant appeared relaxed and was smiling in the video. There was no visible threat of violence or coercion.
“The defendants’ counsel did not report to the authorities about the alleged torture before proceedings began. The first defendant’s stories appeared to be contrived for the purpose of this trial.
“I have carefully taken into consideration the arguments contained in the written addresses, and there is insufficient evidence of torture and coercion.
“I find that the defendants’ statements were made voluntarily. I accept the statements of the two defendants as exhibits and they are so marked Exhibits F and G,” she said.
NAN reports that during the trial-within-trial, Evans and Aduba told the court that they were tortured by the police before their statements were obtained.
Evans claimed that he fabricated stories in his statement to the police as a result of the torture and that he forcefully signed over 25 statements after watching executions of individuals paraded alongside him by the police.