Offa Robbery: Police invitation aimed at scoring cheap political points–Saraki

*Saraki, Idris

The senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki has claimed that the police decision to invite him again over Offa robbery is a ploy aimed at scoring cheap political points and to stop an alleged plan by some senators and members of the House of Representatives from defecting from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The senate president was reacting to a fresh invitation by the inspector general of police, Ibrahim Idris, asking him (Saraki) to report to the Force Intelligence Response Team office at Guzape, Abuja, for interrogation over alleged links to the masterminds of the Offa bank robberies on April 5, 2018 during which nine policemen and 33 persons were killed.

The IG in a letter dated July 23 addressed to Saraki, asked him to report to the police on Tuesday (Today) at 8am to provide further clarification on his relationship with the five leaders of the robbery gang namely Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Salawudeen Azeez and Niyi Ogundiran.

“It is in line with the above that you are requested to report to the head of the investigation team at the Intelligence Response Team for further investigation on the matter,” said Idris

He said during the investigation of the armed robbery by the intelligence response team (IRT) “a CCTV footage of the operation in one of the banks, captured the image of two persons. The CCTV footage was circulated on the social media and this led to their identification as Kunle Ogunleye and Michael Adikwu.

“The two persons were tracked and arrested by the police and they made very useful statements and named the five gang leaders who organised the robbery. Some of the five gang leaders made confessional statements admitting their participation in this worst armed robbery in the history of Nigeria and that they are political thugs under the name Youth Liberation Movement, aka ‘Good Boys,’ allegedly sponsored by you and that you have given them firearms, money and vehicles.

“It was equally discovered that one of the vehicles, a Lexus SUV, used by the gang leader, Ayoade Akinnibosun, has a sticker plate number ‘SARAKI – Kwara State of Harmony.’

“The Lexus jeep was parked in the Government House after the arrest of Akinnibosun and, in order to conceal evidence, the Chief of Staff to the Executive Governor of Kwara State arranged for the removal of the sticker plate number from the Lexus jeep and quickly registered it in the name of the suspect, six days after the suspect had been arrested by the police.”

“It is imperative you report to the police to make further statements after giving you the full text of the statements of the suspects,” Idris added.

However, Saraki said in a statement through his spokesman, Mr. Yusouph Olaniyonu described the incitation as a “mere afterthought designed to achieve political purpose.”

“I have been reliably informed that the police invitation was planned by IG as a ploy to stop an alleged plan by some senators and House of Representatives members from defecting from the All Progressives Congress (APC). It was also said that if I was detained between Tuesday and Wednesday, that will abort the so-called defection plan.

“While I continue to maintain that the issue of my position on the 2019 elections is not a personal decision for me alone to make, it should be noted that all these concoctions and evil plot cannot deter me. Those behind this fresh assault will fail as I have nothing to do with the robbery incident or any criminal matter for that matter.

“I am aware that following a request made by the Police on June 13, 2018 to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) of the Federation had written a legal advice dated June 22, 2018, in which he stated on page 5, paragraph (f) that ‘for the Senate President and the Kwara State governor, this office is unable to establish from the evidence in the interim report a nexus between the alleged office and the suspects’.

“The Police have obviously corrupted and politicised their investigations into the Offa robbery incident. They have turned it into an instrument for the party in power to suppress perceived opponents, witch-hunt issue for blackmailing people from freely choosing which platform on which they want to pursue their ambition and a matter for harassing the people whose exit from APC would harm the chances of the party in the forthcoming elections.

“I want to make it apparent that I have no hand in either the robbery incident or any criminal activity. The Police in their haste to embarrass me sent the invitation to me at 8pm and requested that I report to the station by 8am tomorrow morning. This obviously demonstrated their desperation as I do not see why they are now in a hurry.

“They also stated in today’s letter that because in my response of June 7, 2018 to their own letter written on June 4, 2018, I stated that I was responding simply to the contents of the letter and that the full text of the statement made by the arrested suspects, which they claimed indicted me was not made available to me, they were now including the suspects statements in the current letter. Yet, instead of including the suspects’ statements, they only attached two copies of my own letter to the invitation. No suspect’s statement was made available.

“This plot aimed at compelling me and my associates to stay in a party where members are criminalised without just cause, where injustice is perpetrated at the highest level and where there is no respect for constitutionalism is an exercise in futility and it will fail.

“Once again, my confidence in God and our judicial system remains intact and unshaken. The truth shall also prevail in this case,” said Saraki.









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