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"Not Us" Alleged Ikorodu robbers say police forced them to confess

The alleged suspects in the Ikorodu robbery attacks of June 24, say they were forced by the police to make confessions.

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The Ikorodu four play

The Ikorodu four

(Punch)
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Few weeks ago, the Lagos Command of the Nigeria Police said it had made a serious breakthrough by arresting the alleged suspects who raided the Ipakodo branches of First Bank and Zenith Bank in Ikorodu area of the state on June 24, and even paraded the said robbers, identified as Monday Akpan, Bright Agbojule, Promise Abiwa, and Monday Ikuesan, who made 'confessions' as to their roles in the robberies.

But their lawyer, Olusegun Akanbi, shocked the Federal High Court in state by saying they were actually forced by the police to make the confessions under duress.

Akanbi boldly accused the police of forcing the statements out of them and they had to comply with the police so that the maltreatment they were subjected to would end.

Akanbi told the court that the men are not the actual criminals and has urged the police to produce them if they are still alive.

The lawyer also prayed the court for an order compelling the police to produce the four suspects in court because their families were denied access to them.

Akanbi said the suspects 'made confessional statements to the members of the press out of duress, accusing the police of parading the criminal suspects and mandating them to grant press interviews under compulsion which is illegal.'

The police had said the four men were part of an 18-man gang which made away with about N80million in the robbery.

The four suspects had reportedly confessed to playing different roles in the alleged crime while three Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) allegedly bought with the robbery proceeds were recovered from them.

Akanbi claimed that the police violated the suspects’ right to remain silent or to avoid answering any questions until after consulting with a lawyer in line with Section 35(2) of the 1999 Constitution.

He went further to state that the suspects may not get a fair trial since they have 'already suffered prejudice in the eye of the public due to unfair publicity and unprofessional acts of the defendants.'

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