Suspected Kidnappers of John Mikel Obi’s Father Get Bail

Mr. James Enezi of the Department of State Security Services today told a Federal High Court in Abuja that it is against standard operational practice to torture suspects.

His defense comes on the heels of the allegations by the first accused person in the ongoing trial of 6 men accused of being involved in a bomb attack in Suleja, Niger state in April 2011 that the statement purportedly made by him, and which was to be tendered in evidence was obtained after he was tortured.

He was the chairman of the State Security Service (SSS) special panel of investigation setup to investigate the bombing.

“When they brought him to me, I did not see any sign of torture on him, and I asked him if he gave the statement voluntarily, he then admitted in the affirmative”.

The allegation had led Justice Bilkisu Aliyu to order for a trial within a trial yesterday to determine the authenticity of the claim.

Mr James Eneizi, while being led in testimony by prosecution counsel O.T Olatigbe, said that the claim by the first accused person Abubakar Shaibu that the statement obtained from him by operatives of the SSS was gotten under duress was unfounded.

At the resumed hearing today, prosecution counsel O.T Olatigbe presented four SSS officers as witnesses to argue the case against the claim of torture made by the first accused person.

The witnesses told the court in separate testimonies, of their interaction and  observation of the suspect, Abubakar Shaibu, on the 5th of September 2012, when the statement was supposedly obtained.

Mr. Simon James told the court that he obtained the statement in a calm and peaceful atmosphere and informed the suspect that any information may be used against him as evidence.

On cross examination by defense counsel Kevin Emeka Okoro, Simon responded that he was not aware of any masking or chaining of suspects by the SSS.

Seun Ajigbade told court that he observed the process of obtaining the statement from the accused person and it was done in a peaceful and cordial atmosphere.

He further explained that it is the practice in service to have another office in the conference room who will observe the interrogation process before getting statements.

Alhassan Iliyasu the forth prosecution witness testified to the court that he read and interpreted the statement in Hausa language to the accused in the office of the chairman of the investigative panel, and did not see any signs of torture on the suspect.

Trial judge Bilkisu Aliyu set 22nd February 2012 to hear the case of the Defense, she said the suspects will continue to enjoy bail, but be remanded to Kuje prison until they fulfill the terms of the bail.

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