A 28-year-old man, Patrick Achugboe, accused of raping a minor on Friday, told a High Court in Benin that the confessional statements in question were obtained under duress while in police custody.
During cross-examination by the State Counsel, Mrs E. O. Osula, Achugboe, alleged that purported statement was not written by him.
”The police locked me up in a cell and brought me out at midnight and asked me to corporate by signing a statement they had already written.
“They beat me up with a gun butt and tear gassed the cell I was locked in and ordered me to sign it. I eventually did in order not to lose my life,” he said.
Testifying, the Investigating Police Office, Mrs Joy Ojo, who is a Principal Witness, told the court that the accused willingly and without any form of intimidation or coercion, signed the statement.
”The suspect signed the statement I had prepared after I had read it out to him. He was not forced to sign the statement.
”Infact, he signed the statement in a conducive environment,” she said.
According to the charge sheet, the accused, along with one other, on Jan. 16, 2018, at Ikpoba Hill area of Benin City, abducted and raped a 17-year-old girl.
The offence, according to the police is punishable under Section 4 of the Edo State kidnapping Prohibition (Amendment) law 2013.
After listening to the testimonies, Justice E. Ikponwonba, adjourned the matter until March 27, for both counsel to present their addresses. (NAN)