Fraud: I was tortured by police to make false statement – Accused

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Abuja – A 36-year-old man, Ali Namadi, on Monday at the FCT High Court, Maitama, accused the police of beating him and making him to give false statement over his alleged involvement in a scam.

He made the accusation while giving his testimony in a trial-within-trial to determine the voluntariness of the statement he made while he was in police custody.

Namadi, the fourth accused, is standing trial alongside Ibrahim Ali, Nanah Namadi, Umar Sani and Ibrahim Abubakar, and Junaidu Hashimu, who is the first defendant in the matter.

They are standing trial on a three-count charge of conspiracy and obtaining N22.6 million, (144,000 dollars) under false pretext and cheating.

He said that he was taken to Criminal Investigative Department of the Kano Police Command, and alleged that the police slapped him and hit him repeatedly on his legs with guns.

He said the police then took him to a two-storey building in which the police saw a Honda V6 2012 model. He was then taken to a company and to a plot of land within Kano metropolis, claiming they were his assets.

Mr Peter Celestine, the first witness, who was being led in testimony by the prosecuting counsel, Mr Simon Lough, argued against the fourth accuser’s claim, saying that Namadi had voluntarily agreed to provide useful information to police.

Celestine said that Namadi said in his statement that he met at the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) office, Abuja, that the first accused, Junaidu Hashimu, bought a company in Kano at the rate of N40 million and a two storey building valued at N1.9 million.

He added that the fourth accused said in the statement that Junaidu bought a plot of land which the fourth accused wanted to know where he got such huge amount of dollars.

Celestine said that the fourth accused told the police during interrogation that Junaidu got the money from one Alhaji Abdulkadir.

Junaidu is a cousin to the fourth accused.

“He equally took us to the house where he hid the Honda element that he said Junaidu bought for him,” Celestine said.

Defense counsel, Mr Obi-duruzo, raised an objection as to why the prosecution was asking the witness leading questions instead of re-examining the witness.

“The purpose of trial-within-trial is to tender the statement in question and determine whether the statement was voluntarily obtained or not, not asking a leading question,” he said.

The prosecution said that the objection of the defense counsel was highly misplaced, saying: “this is the process that establishes the voluntariness of the statement and there was no laid down procedure on how to do that.’’

Obi-duruzo had earlier filed a bail application for the accused persons.

Justice Maryann Anenih, in her ruling, adjourned the case to Feb. 15, to rule on the bail application and continuation of the trial-within-trial. (NAN)

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