By Sunmola Olowookere
In total contrast to the claims of the police that statements of suspects were obtained without torture or under duress, a witness, one Tayo Jaiyeoba has narrated before a High Court Judge sitting in Akure how policemen beat up two accused persons, Emeka Alieze ànd Dada Ojo during their investigation of an armed robbery case when they were still suspects.
The witness recounted that “when the police brought them, they had been badly beaten. Their heads were soaked with blood and upon instruction, they quickly began to describe how they carried out the operation to the police”.
He narrated how a group of armed robbers burst into his office when the attendants were before him giving account of their daily sales on September 9, 2016.
He stated that before they gained entrance into the office, he and the occupants heard some people shouting “thieves which made one of them to close the door.
He testified that they beat them severely which led some of them to be hospitalized as they carted away the cash in the office.
On their way out, he said that the armed robbers ordered them to lie face down and hit them.
He said a female attendant among them lost control of her bladder and urinated on her body.
On their way out, the witness said he was able to witness the situation outside and observed that the armed robbers were more than three as another group was outside stealing valuables from the customers.
He said that he also saw an ash-coloured primera car parked at the entrance of the filling station in which the armed robbers fled after the operation.
He said that the police were contacted and they came after the armed robbers had left.
According to him, the police went after the armed robbers but they could not be found.
He testified that he was later called by the police at Fanibi to identify an abandoned vehicle.
He said his statement and that of the others were obtained.
He told the court that some weeks after, he was called while in the church to come to the filling station and that the police officers were waiting for him along with the two defendants in the dock.
He stated that though they were masked, he was able to recognize one through his teeth dentition while the security guard was able to recognize the other.
Under cross examination by the prosecution, the witness was able to maintain his testimony.
The presiding judge, Justice Samuel Bola then adjourned the case till January 22, 2019 for further hearing.