Boko Haram: Suspect in Suleja Bombings Denies Witness Statement

Channels Television  
Updated December 8, 2011

A suspect alleged to have participated in the 8 April bombing of the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as well as the bombing at a political rally on 3 March in Suleja, has told a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has denied making the statement which the State Security Service seeks to use against him as evidence.

At the court ordered trial, Salisu Ahmed, one of the six suspects charged with allegedly participating in the Suleja bombings, told the court that he had been coerced by the SSS into signing an already-written statement, which he knew nothing about.

Ahmed, who spoke in Hausa and was translated, said he was taken to the third floor of the SSS office, and there a statement was brought before him which he was made to sign under duress.

In the main trial, a witness, Al Hassan Iliyasu, an SSS investigator, told the court that he had obtained two statements each from Musa Adamu, Salisu Ahmed and Umar Ibrahim. Iliyasu said though the written statements were in the English language, it had been interpreted in Hausa language and the SSS had ensured the suspects understood the contents of the statements.

Speaking through his counsel, Nuraini Suleiman, Ahmed had denied making the statement dated 9 August 2011. He also told the court that he was made to sign the additional statement dated 6 October 2011 under duress.

Witness Iliyasu said Ahmed had, in one of the statements, narrated his involvement with the Boko Haram sect and had confessed to trying to escape from SSS custody. Ahmed countered that claim, however, and said that even though he had told investigators that he could not read or write English, his objections had been overlooked.

Meanwhile, the case of the five policemen alleged to have participated in the extrajudicial killing of Boko Haram sect leader Mohammed Yusuf and his followers during the July 2009 Maiduguri crisis, has been adjourned till 13 and 14 February for continuation of the hearing.