Nigeria News

UNIPORT4: Police Deny Torturing Suspect to Obtain Statement

The Rivers Police Command Thursday denied torturing Lawal Segun, a Port Harcourt commercial taxi driver, to extract information from him in October 2012.
 
Twelve people are standing trial for the alleged murder of four students of University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), at Aluu, near the university campus, in 2012.
A Chief Superintendent of Police, Mr Henry Njoku, denied the allegation while he was cross-examined by Mr. Joshua Kehinde, counsel to Segun.
 
Njoku said the first accused person made a confessional statement without torture or any application of force.
 
He said Segun made two statements: one when he was arrested in October 2012, and the second after watching the video clip of the murder in Aluu village.
But Segun insisted that the police beat him and threatened to shoot him if he refused to sign the statement.
 
The first accused person, who was led in evidence by his counsel, said the police tortured and inflicted body injuries on him.
 
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Segun told the court under cross-examination by Mr. Rufus Godwins, Rivers State Solicitor-General, that the injuries sustained were on his head and back.
 
The accused, who attempted to remove his shirt to buttress his point but was restrained, said he was given Panadol tablets at the Port Harcourt prison clinic. He said he was not treated by a doctor.
 
Segun said he could not complain about the torture to any police officer because nobody would have listened to him under the condition he found himself.
He however contradicted his allegation of torture when he said all the facts contained in his statement were correct.
 
“All facts in my statement are correct,” Segun said.
The solicitor-general said the onus of proof on the allegation of torture rested on the shoulders of the defence in line with the Evidence Act.
 
He said the allegation was the figment of the defence’s imagination. According to him, the Lagos State Government has banned “trial-within-trial”, because lawyers used frivolous allegations to delay court proceedings.
 
The judge, Justice Ledan Nyordee, warned the lawyers appearing before him to exercise caution and said the court was not a market place or a town hall meeting.
He adjourned the case to March 13 and March 27 for continuation.

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