Robbery: We did not make statements to police, suspects tell court

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Two men accused by the police of armed robbery have told an FCT High Court in Maitama that they were not the makers of the statements police claimed they made. Omenini Bayallah and Paul Sunday were docked along with Dahiru Yusuf on a three-count charge bordering on armed robbery, conspiracy and receiving stolen property.Police prosecutor Stanley Nwodo had earlier told the court that on July 14, 2017, at about 2am, Bayallah and Sunday, at Maitama, Abuja, robbed one Mrs Ogechukwu Irono of her Samsung Galaxy Note 3; 25,000 US dollars, jewelries valued at N32 million, and other personal items.Nwodo alleged that Dahiru Yusuf, on the same date, received the stolen jewelries. He said the offences contravened the provisions of Section 6 of the Armed Robbery and Firearms Act.While trial was ongoing, attempt by the police to tender statements allegedly made by Bayallah and Sunday were objected to by their counsel which led to a trial within trial to ascertain the voluntariness of the statements.At the resumed hearing yesterday, Bayallah in his testimony told the court that while the signature on the said statement was his own, “There was nothing written on the statement sheets at the time I was asked to sign it. I was taken to a room and was asked my name, occupation and address, and I was threatened and forced to write.” The second defendant, Sunday, also told the court that he was not the maker of the statement though the signature was his.Upon conclusion of the evidence of both defendants, the trial judge, Justice Peter Affen, adjourned the matter to May 14 for adoption of written addresses.
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