Giving a ruling admitting Evans’ June 11, 2017 confessional statement into evidence, Justice Oshodi noted that the 1999 Constitution did not require that statements to the police must be in a specific form.
He also said that based on Evans’ evidence videotaped confession played in court on Oct. 26, 2018, there was no proof that Evans was tortured to provide details of his alleged misdeeds.
The Judge said: “In the video that was played in open court, the first defendant was cautioned and he signed a word of caution, when he was asked his profession he said he was a businessman, he said so with a smile.
“In the video the first defendant asked the investigating police officer to write his statement on his behalf, the first defendant sat on a sofa and after the recording of the statement, the first defendant signed.
“In the video, the court cannot see any coercion directed at the first defendant. When the witness for the prosecution was cross-examined, he categorically stated that the first defendant was not tortured when his statement was taken.”
Justice Oshodi said the alleged kidnap kingpin did not provide any evidence to court to back the allegations of extra- judicial killings he made against the police. “The first defendant has not provided evidence of any inducement, threat or promise in the trial-within-trial.
“The court is not unmindful that the first defendant said he was slapped; cigarettes extinguished on his hands and saw people being murdered by the police. The allegation that the police murdered some people is a criminal allegation that he did not prove and there is no blood seen in the video.
“The first defendant did not give any evidence as to the treatment of the injuries he sustained. The first defendant did not contradict any part of the video played. There is no proof that the statement was made involuntarily, the statement is admitted and marked Exhibit B,” he said.
Following the ruling, Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey, Lagos state director of public prosecution (DPP), requested for an adjournment due to the absence the fourth prosecution witness, Insp. Idowu Haruna.
“My Lord, unfortunately the prosecution witness is not in court and we will have to ask for an adjournment. The witness sustained injury in an accident and he is still recovering from the injury,” she said.
Mr Olanrewaju Ajanaku, Evans’ defence counsel, had no objection to the request for an adjournment. Justice Oshodi adjourned the case until Feb. 22 for continuation of the evidence of Haruna and trial.
Recall that during the trial-within-trial held on Oct. 26, 2018, Evans claimed that his alleged confessional statement to the police was not obtained voluntarily. The alleged kidnap kingpin alleged that police officers tortured him and made him witness executions in a bid to get him to admit to his crimes.
Evans is standing trial alongside Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu and Victor Aduba. The six were arraigned on Aug. 30, 2017 on two counts of conspiracy and kidnap of the chief executive officer of Maydon Pharmaceutical Ltd., Donatus Dunu, from whose family they allegedly collected 223,000 Euro (N100m) as ransom. Evans and his co-defendants have pleaded not guilty to all the charges. (NAN)