Efcc Forced Me To Make Statement – Ex Nimasa Director Insists
BEVERLY HILLS, December 07, (THEWILL) – A former Director with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Captain Ezekiel Bala Agaba has told a Lagos High Court, sitting in Ikeja, before Justice Raliatu Adebiyi, that he was forced by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) into making and signing a statement.
Agaba, who is standing trial alongside a former Director General of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi and others for allegedly stealing over N754,740,680.00 million belonging to NIMASA insisted that the statement which the EFCC claimed he made was not given voluntarily by him.
Led in evidence before the court by his counsel, Edoka Onyeke, Agaba claimed that one Orji Chukwuma, an operative of the EFCC who interrogated him forced him to write the statement he gave to the agency.
“Chukwuma had a strategy of asking a question and before I write he asked me again what I intend to write and when I tell him he would refused and ask me to write it his own way,” he claimed.
“I complained and asked my lawyer to be present to guide me but he told me that this has nothing to do with my lawyer. So I got so frustrated and decided to do it his way.
“I am challenging this statement because I had never been in this kind of situation before. Though I am not a lawyer, but I knew from the way the whole thing went that I was being coerced and this was not right.
“I was told what to write even though they made me sign that I freely elected to write whatever had been written. I was even told that I was not the target so I should cooperate.
“The interrogator used all sorts of tactics to make me cooperate in doing it their own way, including delay tactics.”
Ahaba's claim was however denied by EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, who insisted that the defendant voluntarily made his statement to the commission and promised to provide the court with proof that Agaba was not in any way forced to make statement.
Story by Oputah David