By Demola Akinyemi
An Ilorin High Court, yesterday, refused to order for an autopsy for Michael Adikwu, a principal suspect on April 5, 2018, Offa robbery incident in which 33 people were killed.
Justice Halimat Salman, who accepted that the medical report of suspects injured in the incident could be conducted, refused the application for the autopsy report on Adikwu as the prosecution had amended the charge sheet.
She adjourned continuation of the defence trial-within-trial till April 8.
The defence counsel, Mr Mathias Emeribe, had yesterday prayed the court to order for the autopsy report of Adikwu and medical examination of the suspects at the resumed trial of the five accused persons in the Offa robbery case.
He had pleaded with the court that medical examination is conducted to determine whether the wounds in the legs of the suspects were a product of gunshot as claimed by the suspects.
The defence counsel also applied for the autopsy of Adikwu to determine the cause of his death to find corroboration with the evidence of all the suspects.
He said since the Police claimed that the suspects made voluntary confessional statement and were not tortured, a medical examination should be conducted to know the truth.
However, prosecution counsel, Professor Wahab Egbewole (SAN), countered the application, describing it as strange.
Egbewole said: “I urge the court to refuse this strange application. Justice is not one-way traffic. It is available to all the parties and not only for the accused.
“For the record, this is a trial-within-trial specifically to determine the voluntariness of the statements of the accused persons.”
Police killed Adikwu in custody—Suspects
The five accused persons standing trial in connection with the robbery incident were Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Salaudeen Azeez and Niyi Ogundiran.
Three suspects were injured on the legs, while another suspect claimed the Police tortured him to make a false confession.
Earlier, the fifth accused person (Niyi Ogundiran) narrated in the court how the Police extracted a confessional statement from him under duress.
The first, second and third accused persons had also at the last adjourned date accused the Police of shooting them on the legs to instil fear in them before extracting a statement from them.
The suspects also collectively alleged that the Police shot dead Michael Adikwu, while in their custody contrary to what the Police said that the man died of an ailment in a hospital.
In her ruling Justice Salman said: “The court will avail all the parties all the facilities available in this case. It is therefore in the interest of justice and fair hearing to allow for a medical examination to know whether the healed wounds on the three suspects’ legs emanated from gunshots. I, therefore, grant the first prayer.
“On the post-mortem examination of the corpse of the dead Michael Adikwu, there is nothing the autopsy will add to this case. It is baseless and pointless to grant the second prayer.”
She ordered the court Registrar to prepare the “enrol order today to be served on both the defence and prosecution.”
Justice Salman adjourned the case to April 8 for the continuation of defence in the trial-within-trial.