Alleged kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, a.k.a. Evans, on Friday narrated how he was allegedly tortured by members of I-G’s Intelligence Response Team and the then Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Evans said at the continuation of a trial-within-trial at an Ikeja High Court where he is facing trial alongside six others on a two-count charge of conspiracy and kidnapping.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that before Evans’ testimony, a five-minute, 33-second video recording was played in the courtroom.
The video recording showed Insp. Idowu Haruna, a member of the IG’s Intelligence Response Team, sitting beside Evans cautioning him and taking his statement.
Mr Olanrewaju Ajanaku, Evans’ lawyer, however, disputed the validity of the recording by claiming it was heavily edited.
Evans, while being led in evidence by Ajanaku, described himself as a businessman dealing in haulage and ornaments, resident at No. 3, Fred Soyebode St., Magodo, Lagos.
In a graphic detail, Evans described how he was tortured by police officers after his arrest.
“Insp. Haruna (member of IG’s Intelligence Response Team) took me to Abuja and brought me back to Lagos, where I was at the I-G’s Guest House at Obalende, Lagos.
“Sunny, the 2 I/C (second in command) to Abba Kyari, Head of the IRT, Mr Christian Ugu, Mr Phillip and other police officers working with them were there.
“Haruna brought about 25 sheets of paper and asked me to sign; that day, my mind told me not to sign because it might be my death warrant.
“Phillip put his hand in his pocket and brought out a brown hospital card; showed it to me and told me to sign it, saying that do you think that we are joking here; he said if anything happens to me here, this card covers everything.
“Phillip said the police will not be held responsible, and before I knew, Ugu slapped me and that was how they started beating me;” Evans told the court.
The alleged kidnap kingpin gave more details to the court how the police officers tortured him and made him witness executions in a bid to get him to admit to his crimes.
He said: “Mr Ugu was smoking, he quenched the cigarette on my hand. My lord, look at my head where they beat me; My Lord, look at my hand.
“They took me to the backyard of the I-G’s guest house; I sustained injuries on my head and body, and Phillip asked the policemen to walk on me and when I started bleeding, he said you think we are joking here.
“At the backyard, I saw some people that I was paraded with; they were wearing leg chains. Some of them had bullet wounds on their legs and Phillip ordered Haruna to bring a big brown cellotape, handkerchief and poly bags.
“Haruna forced a handkerchief into the mouth of one of them; he used the cellotape to tightly tape his mouth and face and put a poly bag over his head and cellotaped it, and used another poly bag and cellotaped it for the second time, and they left the man on the ground.
“The man on the ground was shaking; he pissed (urinated) on his body, he poo-pooed (defecated) on his body and, after a while, he went quiet.
“Haruna went to the man and stepped on his body and he was unresponsive and he told me can you see I have travelled him.”
Evans told the court that four more persons were executed in the same manner by the police officers in his presence.
“I was brought before them, and I started begging, asking them what do they want me to do, and they told me to cooperate with them, and I said okay that I will do anything they wanted me to do.
“Phillip asked them to take me to the house, and he asked if I knew the method of killing and I said no; they said that it is called ‘Saddam Hussein’.
“He said that there is no way an autopsy can predict the cause of death of the five people they had just killed, and that those people have travelled.”
Evans said after witnessing the execution, the 25 sheets of paper were brought for him to sign by the police.
He noted he was trembling with fear and Sunny, the second in command to Abba Kyari, the Head of the IGP IRT asked Haruna to offer him a can of cold Fanta.
“When the Fanta was given to me, I drank it and after a few minutes, they brought the 25 sheets of paper for me and I signed them.
“Some things were written on some of the sheets of paper while some were blank; that was how I was forced to sign the confessional statements,” Evans said.
On cross-examination by Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey, the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Evans confirmed his name and the names of his parents, and denied knowing the officers before his arrest.
“I am 38-year-old, I was born on April 29, 1980; my mother’s name is Mrs Chinwe Onwuamadike and my father is Mr Stephen Onwuamadike.
“I did not know Insp. Haruna, Abba Kyari, before my arrest; I’m the one in the video, I was cautioned in the video, but after the cautionary words, I was forced to sign.
“The story I told the court was never an afterthought, SARS killed more than 30 people in my presence; the killings took place at the I-G’s guest house in Ikoyi.
“On the day I was arrested, I was arrested in my house and I was taken to Ikeja SARS Station; journalists were there; they had beaten the hell out of me in my house, I was interviewed by the journalists on Sunday, a day after I was arrested on Saturday.
“When I was taken to the station, there was a field; I was in a car while I was waiting for Abba Kyari to come.
“Abba Kyari, when he came, told me to beg for forgiveness in my interview with journalists, and also to inform the world I had cancer which I don’t have. The police killed one Felix Chinemeri in my presence,” he said.
While being re-examined by Ajanaku, his lawyer, Evans said that he had not spoken to journalists before he made his alleged confessional statement to the police.
Earlier, during proceedings, Insp. Haruna was cross-examined by Ajanaku; he told the court it took more than an hour to obtain Evans’ statement.
Haruna denied that Evans changed his clothes because of blood stains from torture, before the video of Evans giving his confessional statement was made.
He denied editing the five-minute and 33-second video of Evans giving his statement to the police.
“I never threatened to kill the first defendant (Evans), and I never created fear in him by killing people in his presence,” Haruna said.
NAN reports that Evans is standing trial alongside Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu and Victor Aduba.
The six were arraigned on Aug. 30, 2017 on two counts of conspiracy and kidnapping of the Chief Executive Officer of Maydon Pharmaceutical Limited, Donatus Dunu, from whose family they allegedly collected 223,000 Euros (N100 million) as ransom.
Evans and his co-defendants had pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Justice Hakeem Oshodi adjourned the case until Nov. 23 for continuation of defence in the trial-within-trial.
The post I was tortured by I-G’s Intelligence Response Team, SARS — Evans appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.
Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.
President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.
Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.
At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.
He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.
He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.
“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’
“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.
“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.
“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.
“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.
“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”
However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.
He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.
“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”
CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers
The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.
Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.
“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?
“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.
“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.
“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”
Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.
“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.
“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.
Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike
Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.
Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.
The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.
Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.
Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).
Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).
The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”
On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.
The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.
“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.
The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”
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