Shema trial: Defendant’s statement made under duress – Court

Justice Maikaita Bako of the Katsina state High Court has dismissed the statements of the 4th defendant, Ibrahim Dankaba, tendered by the Economic and Financial Crimea Commission (EFCC) in the case filed against former Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema.

Other defendants in the matter were former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Sani Hamisu Makana; former permanent secretary in the ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Lawal Rufai, and former state ALGON chairman, Ibrahim Dankaba.

According to the judge, the statements were made under duress by the fourth defendant who was chairman of the state ALGON.

The 4th defendant, through his lawyer, had told the court that the statement of his client to  the  EFCC  were obtained under duress with the threat that if he did not implicate the former governor of Katsina state, Ibrahim Shehu Shema, in the statements he would be detained and sent to the prison  by the EFCC operatives.

The development led to a trial within trial to determine the claims of the defendant.

In his ruling on trial within trial on Tuesday, Justice Maikaita Bako held: “Why should EFCC operatives in the course of interrogation of the defendant chase away the defendant’s lawyer and only obtained the statements after the defendant has been detained and subjected to inhuman treatment?”

He subsequently dismissed the statements and adjourned the continuation of the trial to December 11 and 12, 2019.

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