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Offa Robbery: Police Invites Saraki Again, ‘It is Political’- Saraki

It is not yet Uhuru for the Senate President Bunola Saraki on his alleged connection with the Offa robbery saga of April 1, 2018, as Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris has asked him to appear at the office of intelligence response team (IRT) for more questioning.

In a letter dated July 23 and addressed to the senate president, Idris asked Saraki to be at IRT’s office at 8am on Tuesday “for further investigation”.

The police had said some of the robbery suspects confessed that they were thugs of the senate president, an allegation Saraki denied.

The lawmaker was asked to appear at force headquarters for questioning but the police eventually said Saraki should not appear in person but respond to the allegations of the suspects in writing.

In the letter, Idris said there was need for the senate president to make clarification on his written response and further make further statements in person.

The IGP said some of the gang leaders alleged that Saraki gave them arms and money.

“It was equally discovered that one of the vehicles, a Lexus Jeep, used by the gang leader (Ayoade Akinnibosun) has a sticker plate number ‘SARAKI’ Kwara State of Harmony’,” the letter read.

The Lexus jeep was parked in the government house after the arrest of Ayoade 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 ‘SARAKI Kwara State of Harmony’ from the Lexus jeep and quickly registered it in the name of the suspect, six days after the suspect has been arrested by the police.

“Specifically Mr Ayoade Akinnibosun ‘m’ 27 years in his confessional statement stated that ‘members of his group are Political Thugs working for Senator Bukola Saraki and governor of Kwara state’. That he is the head of the political thugs named Youths Liberation Movement covering about seven local governments areas of Kwara south.

“That he gets vehicle and monetary gifts etc from Senator Bukola Saraki through the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Kwara State; that the last money he got directly from senator Bukola Saraki was N500,000. He made mention of some other thugs in Kwara central with guns which senator Bukola Saraki is sponsoring as Alhaji Alawo, Alhaji Dona, Alhaji Jawando among others, that Senator Bukola Saraki supplies the arms and vehicles to the thugs; that everyone in Kwara central fears them because of their guns and ability to kill anybody without hesitation.”

The letter quoted the suspects as saying they accompanied Saraki on a condolence visit to Offa.

“Furthermore the suspect Ayoade Akinnibosun stated that the date you senator Saraki visited Offa in sympathy with the victims to the palace of the Oba, that he and two other gang members were with you in the convoy,” the letter read.

“In your response to the above allegations, you stated ‘by virtue of my participation in politics, I have a large followership which makes it impossible for me to know all of them. I can say categorically that i am in no way associated with the vehicle mentioned in your letter nor have I given any arms to any thug or other persons in kwara State or anywhere else.

“For the records, your letter under reference did not include the full text of the statements made by the accused persons.’

“After a careful perusal of your letter to the police, it was discovered that the statement requires further clarification and coupled with the fact that you stated that the full text of the statements of the suspects were not shown to you, it is imperative you report to the police to make further statements after giving you the full text of the statements of the suspects.

“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 at Guzape junction, Asokoro extension, Abuja on 24th of July, 2018 at 8am for further investigation on the matter.”

Over 20 people, including police officers, were killed by the armed robbers who attacked five commercial banks in the city.

However, Dr. Saraki in his response to the invitation said it is a mere afterthought which is designed to achieve political purpose.

Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, stated that he has it on good authority that the Police had already decided on the suspects to arraign in court in Ilorin, Kwara State on Wednesday based on the advice of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mohammed U.E. and that the turn around to invite him was a ploy aimed at scoring cheap political points.

” 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 Fedeeation 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 politicized their investigations into the Offa robbery incident. They have turned it into an instrument for the party in power to suppress perceived opponents, witchunt 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 acitivity. 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 suspects 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”, he stated.

Gboyega Adeoye

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