ThisDay bombing: Court admits five confessional statements

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Abuja – Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court on Wednesday in Abuja admitted the five documents tendered as confessional statements made by Mustapha Umar.

Umar is standing trial for allegedly masterminding the ThisDay Newspaper House bombing in Kaduna.

Giving the ruling, Ademola held that the court was not convinced about the allegation of torture made by the accused person.

The Judge said the court was rather convinced that the injuries sustained by the accused at the scene of the bombing in Kaduna did prevent any intentions to torture the accused.

“It is, therefore, the decision of the court to admit the five statements in evidence.

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“We believe the prosecution witness (PW7) who testified to the fact that the accused was not coerced to give the statements.’’

Mr Sulyman Nurunee, the defendant’s counsel, had objected to the admissibility of the five statements credited to his client.

At a trial-within-trial session granted by the Judge, the prosecution witness, who claimed he supervised the taking of the statement, said the accused was not coerced or beaten in the process.

The witness, a police investigator in charge of the Investigation and Terrorism Unit of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Abuja, said the accused voluntarily gave the statements.

He explained that the accused was handed over to him with serious injury he sustained from the scene of the bombing, adding that “nobody in his right senses could have mistreated him’’.

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However, Umar had said the police neither recorded any of his discussions with them as his statements nor did he (Umar) voluntarily sign any documents as his confessional statements.

He said the police in their bid to extract information hung him and beat him.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the police brought a one-count charge against Umar under the Terrorist Prevention Act 2011.

ThisDay office in Kaduna was bombed on April 26, 2012, by a suspected suicide bomber.

Ademola adjourned continuation of trial to May 28, while June 4 to June 6 was fixed for the accused to open his defence. (NAN)

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