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SSS Has Doctored My Statement, Suspected Terrorist Tells Court

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SAN FRANCISCO, February 13, (THEWILL) - Suspected terrorist, Mohammed Suleiman Ashafa, who was indicted by the Federal Government in 2003 for recruiting and taking some Nigerian youths to Niger Republic and Pakistan for training as members of Al-Qaeda, Wednesday, shocked the State Security Service (SSS), alleging that the intelligence agency had tampered with the statement tendered in evidence against him.

When the matter came up for hearing, Wednesday, Ashafa told Justice Adamu Bello, through an interpreter that although the statement had his signature , the document was not his own as he doubted the authenticity of the document.

When asked by his counsel, N. C. Nwachukwu to verify the statement before the court, Ashafa stated, "I wrote my statement in Hausa language while the present document is in English language and I do not understand  English."

Disclosing that he deals in Islamic books,the suspect  told the court how he was forced by some officers of the SSS at gunpoint to sign the present statement carrying his signature.

 "I was tortured, humiliated, severely beaten, and was striped naked by SSS officials in their bid to make me succumb and sign their own version of the statement.

"One of them even held my manhood and was mocking it, " he  told the court.

"When I refused to sign the statement written in English language, a superior officer brought out a pistol and threatened to shoot me dead if I refuse to sign the document. After the inhumane torturing and treatment metted out on me, at that point, I had to sign in protest," he said.

While answering questions from the prosecutor, Mr Thompson Olatigbe,Ashafa  said  he had been with the SSS since 2003, till 2006, when he was charged to court.

Ashafa admitted before the court that he wrote two statements in Hausa language on two occasions when  he was invited and asked questions by the SSS in relation to the statement he was opposed to.
 "This document shown to me in court today is not my statement," he insisted .

In his  ruling, Justice Bello granted 10 days to  Ashafa's counsel to file a written address in trial within trial to determine whether the suspect made the statement in question voluntarily or otherwise just as he gave the prosecuting counsel two  days to respond to the said address and adjourned to March 25 when both parties will  adopt their written addresses.


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