The Nigeria Police Force has disclosed that there’s enough evidence to charge Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to court over his alleged links to the criminal gang that killed at least 33 people during a robbery operation in April.
Nine police officers and at least 24 others lost their lives when a group of around 30 armed robbers » attacked Union Bank, Eco Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, First Bank, Zenith Bank and Ibolo Micro Finance Bank , as well as the Owode Police Station in Offa, Kwara State, on April 5, 2018.
The police force has invited Saraki for questioning after the the main gang leader involved in the Offa robbery named him as his gang’s political sponsors » .
In a letter, dated July 23, 2018, signed by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris , he directed Saraki to report himself to the Intelligence Response Team office in Abuja on Tuesday, July 24. However, the senate president failed to show up, opting instead
to preside over the day’s session at the National Assembly complex » .
Later on Tuesday, Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Jimoh Moshood , warned the senate president to report to the police force as soon as possible before it is compelled to use all the instruments of the law to ensure compliance.
While appearing on Channels Television on Wednesday, July 25, DCP Moshood said the force has enough to charge the senate president to court with the amount of evidence available. He said the force will not hesitate to see to the prevalence of the rule of law.
He said, “The investigators have been directed to take all actions within the ambit of the law to ensure that there’s compliance with the law because the bottomline is that we have a case that can stand the test of trial against the senate president and we don’t want people to politicise criminality.
“People (were) alleged of criminal act and he was indicted in the confession of five principal suspects in this Offa bank robbery that, ‘You armed us as political thugs’ and they decided to use it for robbery; and part of the vehicles that he equally gave them were used for robbery.
“Anybody that is involved at the beginning, at the middle, in the commission of the crime is as culpable as anybody that committed the crime.”
He said the senate president’s failure to honour Tuesday’s invitation is a disrespect to the rule of law and promised that appropriate actions will be taken against the leader of the upper legislative chamber.
He said, “We are treating it as a disrespect to the law and we’re going to take appropriate actions to ensure that he complies with the rule of law. Nobody is above the law.
“We’ll ensure that no stone is left unturned in resolving this crime. We want him to know that in democracy, the rule of law prevails. The supremacy of the law must be adhered to.”
ALSO READ: Read full story of why Police force wants to question Saraki over links to Offa robbery »
Saraki’s alleged links to Offa robbery
According to DCP Moshood, the main gang leaders involved in the robbery are Ayoade Akinnibosun (aka, AY), Ibikunle Ogunleye (aka Arrow) , Adeola Abraham ,
Salawudeen Azeez, and Niyi Ogundiran, all indigenes of Oro, Irepodun local government area of Kwara.
During the course of investigations, the main gang leader, Akinnibosun, named Saraki and incumbent Kwara governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed , as
his gang’s political sponsors » .
He said, “I am the chairman of Liberation Youths Movement, Kwara South. My involvement with the senate president is we’re his boys; we work for him at Kwara South. We’re the ones that hold Kwara South for him. We’ve been working for him since he was Governor of Kwara.
“We mobilise and do political arrangement there (Kwara South). For example, where we can’t win, we make dabaru (disruptive) arrangement there; we scatter elections if we don’t win.”
Akinnibosun further disclosed that a Lexus jeep GX-300, which was used during the robbery, was a gift from Saraki which he received through Ahmed’s Chief of Staff,
Yusuf Abdulwahab, who has also been arrested in connection to the robbery.
“The connections between me and the senate president is that he’s the one that is arranging everything for us. For example, this car (a Lexus jeep GX-300) was given to me by His Excellency (Governor Ahmed) through the Chief of Staff of Kwara state as a gift from leader, Bukola Saraki. I participated in the Offa robbery. I took this Lexus car along to Offa,” he said.
The vehicle was used in the robbery with a sticker plate number inscribed with “SARAKI” and registered to “Kwara, State of Harmony”. Abdulwahab allegedly replaced the vehicle’s number plate with a new one (registration number: Kwara, KMA 143 RM) and registered it in Akinnibosun’s name to cover up its identity.
Governor Ahmed’s personal assistant on politics, Alabi Olalekan , has also been arrested in connection with the robbery as he allegedly attempted to hide the vehicle in question. A revolver pistol and pump action gun were also allegedly recovered from his farm.
Akinnibosun told the police, and the media, that two of the guns used in the robbery were supplied to him by Abdulwahab, although he noted that he only supplied it for political thuggery and not the Offa robbery.
Akinnibosun has noted twice in public that his gang’s alleged sponsors, Saraki and Ahmed, knew absolutely nothing about the robbery.
More ‘evidence’ pile up against Saraki
Days after the first parade of the suspects in Abuja, the police paraded the gang leaders again and disclosed that more evidence had been unearthed about Saraki’s links to the criminal gang
During the June 6 media briefing, DCP Moshood said two more suspects had implicated the senate president as a sponsor of political thuggery.
He disclosed that after the first media parade, Akinnibosun mentioned three other notorious political thugs who worked for Saraki in Kwara Central. The police proceeded to arrest two of the suspects, Kehinde Gobiri (aka, Captain) and Oba Shuaib Olododo (aka, Jawando), who allegedly both admitted to committing various crimes in Kwara Central senatorial district under the guise of political thuggery for the senate president. The third suspect, Alhaji Dona, remains at large.
The police further alleged that, since the first briefing, all five gang leaders had confessed to having a direct connection to Saraki and were at his daughter’s recent wedding ceremony. He disclosed that they confessed to have been sponsored with firearms, money and operational vehicles by Saraki and Governor Ahmed.
DCP Moshood also claimed that Akinnibosun, Ogunleye and Abraham followed the senate president to the Olofa of Offa’s palace when he paid a condolence visit to the town after the bank robbery .
He concluded that, due to the new pieces of evidence, Saraki was still under investigation in connection to the Offa bank robbery and that the ongoing investigation would be driven to a logical conclusion.
In the IGP’s letter of invitation to Saraki, the police alleged that the last financial handout Akinnibosun got directly from the senate president was the sum of N500,000. He also reiterated that three gang leaders were in Saraki’s convoy on his condolence visit to Offa.
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