Section 33 sub section 1 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states that “Every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life, save in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria”.
Also, Section 36 subsection 5 of the constitution states clearly that “Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty” Furthermore, ARTICLE 58 of the UN charter stipulates right to freedom from coercion, duress, threat, torture, or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. And ARTICLE 56 of this charter states that an individual is presumed innocent until he is proved guilty by the court. This implies that a criminal suspect must not be tortured or killed while in custody, rather he must go through the established judicial process of the state.
It is based on this universally accepted principle that we – a coalition of civil societyorganisations in Nigeria – make the following case.
On May 22, 2018, the police announced the arrest of Michael Adikwu, a dismissed police corporal, who killed allegedly 22 people in the Offa bank robbery of April 5, 2018, and oneKunle Ogunleye, another suspect in the crime. 33 people were reported killed in the dastardly attack.
On May 22, Jimoh Moshood, spokesman of the Nigeria Police, said in a statement sent to journalists, that the suspects had already confessed to be the gang leaders of the criminal group, and that they would be charged to court at the completion of investigation.
“The two suspects have confessed to the crime and admitted to the various criminal roles they played in the robbery. They will be charged to court on completion of investigation.” he said at the time.
However, on June 3, the police paraded five of the gang leaders and some principal suspects, without Adikwu. AyoadeAkinnibosun, aka AY, suspected mastermind of the robbery, confessed before cameras that Adikwu was the gang’s armourer, and that he supplied them the arms they used for the operation. Note: Adikwu is a former police officer.
*FACTS OF THE CASE*
Hinging on the need to serve justice to those killed in the attack and to bring this sad episode in our history to a conclusive end, it is imperative that the police produce Adikwuto state publicly his sponsors just like his gang mates did. We believe he was not working alone, and that he has some powerful links in the police – where he served before.
We feel that this prime suspect, who allegedly killed 22 people, may have been extra-judicially killed. It is important that he isprovided for this will solve the mystery of where the gang got the arms they used for the operation.
We have information that Adikwu was summarily executed during interrogation by the police to cover up the truth of what transpires
And we are aware that a suspect was severely tortured and his arms broken by the police, but he was released after it became clear he had no hand in the crime.
We demand that the police immediately produce Adikwu. If he has been killed, the police should come clean and name his executors, this is in keeping with the Freedom of Information Act (FOI).
We demand an immediate investigation into the disappearance of this suspect, and we ask respected international human rightsorganisations to call on the Nigerian government and the police to produce him.
And lastly, we demand an independent probe of the Offa robbery because the police appear compromised. Failure to produce him, we will petition the International Criminal Court and also petition all embassies with evidence so as to revoke visas of the IGP and other human rights violators.
No 92, Awolowo way,Ikeja Lagos
*For Coalition of Civil SocietyOrganisations*