HOW TITI ATIKU KEPT ME IN EFCC CUSTODY – EX- BUSINESS PARTNER

Oluwatosin Omojuyigbe

An ex-governorship aspirant in Akwa Ibom State, Nsikakabasi Akpan-Jacobs, on Wednesday claimed before a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja that he was detained for three weeks in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abuja at the instance of the wife of former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, Titi.

Akpan-Jacobs said this in a trial-within-trial to determine the voluntariness of the statements he made while in the custody of the EFCC.

The EFCC accused him of defrauding a company, THA Shipping Maritime Services Ltd., where Atiku’s wife was the largest shareholder.

Other defendants in the case are Abdulmalik Ibrahim and Dana Motors Nigeria Limited.

The EFCC had alleged that the defendants defrauded Atiku to the tune of N918m.

While Akpan-Jacobs was being led in evidence by his counsel, Mr. Amos Ibe, he said, “I was first arrested by the Lagos office of the EFCC.

“On the days when I honoured their invitation, I gave statements at various times to different operatives namely – Mr. Dapo; Mr. Kabir; Mr. Lawal; as well as a team of investigators comprising a lady and two men.

“I received an unexpected call from the EFCC on February 5, 2009 which I honoured and when I arrived, I was taken straight to the airport.

“When I asked what was wrong, they told me that it was based on ‘orders from above’. I immediately called my wife and lawyer to inform them about the development.

“When I got to Abuja, I was taken to an underground detention facility. The sureties in my bail by the EFCC were to be two directors in the civil service who had landed property in Abuja.

“When I saw the bail conditions, I told the second defendant that these people wanted to keep me here in perpetuity.”

He claimed that after he was taken out of the underground detention facility, he was further interrogated by EFCC operatives, whose names he gave as Mr. Pascal, Mr. Oron, and Mr. Baba-kura.

He claimed that his statement was shredded by the operatives who were not satisfied with what he wrote and ordered him to rewrite it based on what they dictated to him.

“Baba-kura, who was the head of the unit, acted like he owned the whole world and, My Lord, to be honest, I gave it back to them.

“When I was in Abuja, I had pneumonia, high blood pressure and the times I went back to my cell, I had to lie down because I was standing all day.

“My Lord, Mr. Chima (a member of Titi Atiku’s legal team) read the statements I wrote to make sure I was writing what they wanted.

“I did not make any undertaking while I was detained; an undertaking was brought to me by Mr. Chima which I signed.

“I signed the undertaking to save the second defendant because the EFCC put so much pressure on him to turn against me and out of pity, I had to sign the undertaking.

“All the statements I wrote were signed but not dated. I dated all my statements in one day under the instruction of the EFCC operatives, I didn’t have access to my phones as well as my lawyer, who was within reach.

“I want the court to reject the statements I gave to the EFCC,” Akpan-Jacobs said.

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