Boko Haram: DSS Insists Accused Not Tortured to Make Statements

A prosecution witness, John Timothy, testifying at the Federal High Court, Abuja, Tuesday, told the court that Dr Nafeez Yinus and Umar Musa, first and third defendants standing trial on their alleged connection with the Boko haram terrorist group, were not bullied by the DSS to give their statement.
The witness, a public servant, stationed at the National headquarters of State Security Service, Abuja made the assertion on Tuesday at the trial within trial before the presiding Judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawale.
Justice Kolawale had on Sept. 26, 2016 ordered the procedure following allegations made by the first and third defence counsels, Hassan Liman (SAN) and Abdul Mohammed respectively, that statements from their clients were given under duress.
Contrary to the complaints of the first and third defendant, the witness held that they were not tortured, harassed or threatened before making any statement as there were no such reports from the investigation team.
He stressed that the second defendant made a non-confessional statement and hence was not tortured, and according to a medical report presented to the committee that handled the investigation vis-à-vis a biometric scan on the both parties, it was discovered that the second defendant was hypertensive.
Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Mrs N. B Jones-Nebo, Timothy said he remembered the date he conducted the interview on the defendants.
He also acknowledged recording of the first defendant on Dec. 16, 2013 and the third defendant on Nov. 7 and 28, 2013 via a digital media equipment comprising of a computer, monitor, camera and audio amplifier.
He stated that he acted under the directive of the Chief Investigative Officer, Mr Saraki to prepare the interview and recording room which was inspected by another officer, Mr Okoye and his company, after the arrangement of the rooms.
“I set up the light, AC, power backup for the equipment in case of power outage, inspected the bathroom, turned on the digital media equipment which comprises of computer, monitor and a camera, ” he added.
Timothy further said image copies of the recordings were produced alongside a certificate of regularity which he handed to the chief investigative officer without any review.
He told the court that in his observation, the audio seemed to be defective but in accordance to their ethics, the recorded image was left that way to ensure integrity.
He further stated that the recording equipment has a write protect which cannot permit any addition to the content of the original.
The prosecution applied to tender certificate of regularities and the 3 DVD to be tendered as exhibit.
The defence counsels did not oppose the exhibits , however, the second defendant counsel who was represented by F.O Amodi applied for an adjournment to enable the lead counsel Abdul Mohammed to be in the court to continue with the case and to respond to the exhibits tendered.
Justice Kolawale, marked the first defendant DVD dated Nov. 16, 2013 as exhibit P4 and P4A and also ordered that the other two DVDs belonging to the second defendant should be return to the court registrar until the lead counsel Abdul is present in court to approve.
He adjourned the matter to March 1, 2017 for the approval and cross examination of the witness.

Author: News Editor

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