Nigeria: Alleged Kidnapping - Police Tortured Me to Confess, Ex-Soldier Tells Court

4 August 2021

A former soldier, Victor Aduba, yesterday told a Lagos High Court how he was allegedly tortured by members of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigerian Police Force to admit that he was an accomplice of Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike alias Evans.

Led in evidence by his counsel, Mr. Emmanuel Ochai, Aduba said he was invited by an acquaintance, Mr. Chukwuma Nwosu to a bar in Ago, Lagos but unknown to him, Nwosu was wanted by the police.

He said: "As I reached the bar, he (Nwosu) was acting unusual and I kept asking what was wrong with him and then I noticed five policemen who approached me and said I was under arrest. "I resisted and they overpowered me and when I got to the police station, one Mr. Philip, their boss said I should cooperate with them and do whatever they say I should do. I told them they should allow me to go to my office where I worked as a soldier but they refused," he said.

Aduba said that he was ordered by a member of IRT, Inspector Idowu Haruna to sign a written statement admitting to the crime but he refused. He alleged he was ordered to be taken to a "theatre" by Mr. Phillip where he was beaten and was cut with a machete by Haruna.

Aduba, during his testimony showed his alleged machete injury to the court.

He alleged that in the days he was in custody, three men, Felix Chinemeren, Paul Samyan, and Chukwuma Nwosu, who were initially paraded to the media as kidnappers were extra-judicially killed by the IRT team.

He said "I was still being told to sign some papers but I refused and I said if I refuse I will travel (slang for killed). At that point, Idowu Haruna brought out his phone for me to look at some pictures."

"When I looked at it, I discovered it was the dead bodies of the three men with whom I was in custody. That was how I was forced to sign the papers," he said.

To corroborate his claims, Aduba's counsel, Ochai, tendered a record of court proceedings of a kidnap trial held on Nov. 5, 2018, before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo.

While being cross-examined by Haruna, Aduba said he was enlisted by the Nigerian Army in Aug.15, 2009, and had known Ifeanyi since 2010.

In his testimony, another former member of the Nigerian Army, Chilaka Ifeanyi also denied being accomplices to the crime.

Ifeanyi led in evidence by defence counsel, Mr. A.A Uzoukwu, said he was acquainted with Aduba and had worked with him as a soldier.

He said one day, he was requested by another acquaintance, Mr. Ikenna Chukwuma to help him drive a car from a mechanic's workshop at Ijesha, Lagos to Surulere, Lagos.

He told the court that when they got to the mechanic's workshop, the car had not been repaired and Chukwuma had called a friend to pick them up from the workshop.

"When I entered the vehicle with Chukwuma, I saw Mr. Victor Aduba (sixth defendant) in the vehicle and there was a weapon inside the vehicle.

"When I asked what the weapon was doing there, the driver told me to keep quiet and mind my business.

"I was asked if I know what is AP and I said no then I was told to keep quiet and mind my business.

"My Lord, they did not carry anybody in that vehicle and they did not kidnap anybody. Reaching Cele Bus stop, I told them I was uncomfortable and asked to alight.

I was dropped off at Cele Bus stop and they warned that if they heard anything from me, they will kill me and I went back home," Ifeanyi said.

"I have never taken part in any kidnap activities in my life. I have never attempted to kidnap anyone before or conspired with Evans to kidnap the victim (Dunu)," he said.

The two ex-soldiers who have been dismissed by the Nigerian Army are facing trial alongside Evans, Uche Amadi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu and Ogechi Uchechukwu for the alleged kidnap of Mr. Donatius Dunu, the Chief Executive Officer of Maydon Pharmaceuticals.

Justice Hakeem Oshodi adjourned the case until November 5, for the adoption of final written addresses.

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