Saraki now third anti-Buhari senator to face police questioning over murder allegations
In a surprise move, which many see as high level political gamesmanship, the Nigeria Police yesterday, June 3, invited Senate President Bukola Saraki for questioning in connection with the violent Offa Bank robbery during which 33 people were brutally killed. In a statement signed by Jimoh Moshood, the spokesperson of the Nigeria Police, the police alleged that some of the arrested Offa gang robbery suspects “confessed and volunteered statements that they were political thugs of the Senate President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Bukola Saraki and the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed.”
According to the police statement, “investigation into the Offa Bank Robbery and gruesome killings of more than THIRTY THREE (33) Innocent persons in Offa, Kwara State on the 5th April, 2018 directed by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris, NPM, mni, has made significant progress, successes and more revelations have been recorded. The Gang Leaders and some of the principal suspects arrested for their active participation in the robbery and the killing of innocent persons have made confessional statements admitting to the various criminal roles they and their sponsors played in this dastard and heinous crime.
“The Five (5) gang leaders namely; Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibukunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Salawudeen Azeez, Niyi Ogundiran and some of the other Seventeen (17) suspects arrested for direct involvement and active participation in the Offa Bank Robbery and the gruesome killing of THIRTY THREE (33) innocent persons which includes (some pregnant women and nine (9) Police personnel) admitted, confessed and volunteered statements that they were political thugs of the Senate President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sen. Bukola Saraki and the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Alh. Abdulfatah Ahmed.”
“The arrests of the above mentioned Five (5) Gang Leaders and seventeen (17) others were made possible after the arrest of two principal suspects (Kunle Ogunleye aka Arrow 35yrs and Michael Adikwu an Ex-Convict) whose pictures captured by CCTV in one of the Banks during the Banks robbery were circulated to the media and the public. The two (2) principal suspects confessed to be among the suspects led by the five (5) gang leaders listed in paragraph 2 above to carry out the Offa Banks Robbery, the attack on the Divisional Police Headquarters, Offa and the killings of THIRTY THREE (33) innocent persons on the 5th of April, 2018.”
“During interrogation, the five (5) gang leaders mentioned in paragraph 2 further confessed and volunteered statements that they carried out the Bank Robberies, the attack on the Divisional Police Headquarters in Offa and the killings of THIRTY THREE (33) innocent persons.
“Millions of Naira from the Banks and Twenty One (21) AK47 Rifles belonging to the Nigeria Police Force in the Armoury of the Police Divisional Headquarters, Offa were admitted to have been carted away by the Five (5) gang leaders and the other Seventeen (17) principal suspects during the Banks robbery.”
“The Five (5) gang leaders confessed and volunteered statements to the Police investigators, giving a clear account of how they planned and carried out the Banks robbery operation in Offa, the attack on the Police Division in Offa and how they killed the THIRTY THREE (33) innocent persons during the robbery.”
“The Five (5) gang leaders further confessed during investigation that they are political thugs under the name Youth Liberation Movement a.k.a “Good Boys” admitted and confessed to have been sponsored with firearms, money and operational vehicles by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed.”
“ In the course of discreet investigation into the confessions of these five (5) gang leaders and the other seventeen (17) principal suspects, a Lexus jeep GX-300 (Ash Colour) with a sticker plate number with inscription “SARAKI” “Kwara, State of Harmony” used by the gang leader (Ayoade Akinnibosun ‘M’ 37Yrs) during the bank robbery and the killing of the THIRTY THREE (33) innocent persons was taken to Government House, Ilorin on 16th May, 2018 where the sticker plate number with inscription “SARAKI” “Kwara, State of Harmony” was removed before another plate number (Reg. No. Kwara, KMA 143 RM) registered in the name of Ayoade AKinnibosun the Overall Commander of the Offa Bank Robbery was then attached to the vehicle to cover up the identity of the said vehicle. The exhibit vehicle was subsequently recovered from the premises of the Ministry of Environmental and Forestry in Ilorin, Kwara State. While the sticker plate number with inscription “SARAKI” “Kwara, State of Harmony” removed from the vehicle was recovered from one Adeola Omiyale who drove the said Lexus Jeep to Government House, Ilorin immediately after the Bank Robbery.”
“The Personal Assistant (Political) to the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Mr. Alabi Olalekan, who is privy to information that the Police is looking for the lexus Jeep as an exhibit used in the Offa Bank Robbery and the killings of THIRTY THREE (33) innocent persons directed one Adeola Omiyale to relocate the Lexus Jeep to Government House, Ilorin. The PA (Political) is currently in Police custody and has made useful statement assisting the Police in further investigation into the case. A revolver pistol and pump action gun were recovered by the Police Investigation Team from the Personal Assistant (Political) to the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Mr. Alabi Olalekan’s Farm where he directed his brother to hide them after his arrest by the Police.”
“In order to conceal evidence, the Chief of Staff to the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Mr. Yusuf Abdulwahab who has been arrested and taken into Police custody, arranged the removal of the sticker plate number with inscription “SARAKI” “Kwara, State of Harmony” from the exhibit vehicle and also registered the exhibit Lexus Jeep used in the Offa Bank Robbery and the killings of THIRTY THREE (33) innocent persons in the name of Ayoade AKinnibosun, the overall Gang Commander of the Offa Bank Robbery while the Ayoade AKinnibosun was already in Police custody for more than six (6) days before the registration of the vehicle.”
“Investigation is ongoing and effort is being intensified to arrest other suspects still at large. All suspects involved will be arraigned in court for prosecution on completion of investigation.”
“Meanwhile, the Senate President, Sen. Bukola Saraki is being invited by the Nigeria Police Force to report to the Force Intelligence Response Team office at Guzape, Abuja to answer to the allegations levelled against him from the confessions of the Five (5) Gang Leaders, namely; Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibukunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Salawudeen Azeez, Niyi Ogundiran and some of the other Seventeen (17) suspects arrested for direct involvement and active participation in the Offa Bank Robbery and the gruesome killing of THIRTY THREE (33) innocent persons which includes (some pregnant women and nine (9) Police personnel).”
“The Nigeria Police Force will continue to ensure that the rule of law prevails in every case under Police investigation and every offender is brought to justice.”
Saraki is the third member of the Senate to be invited by the Police over allegations of murder or armed robbery. Shehu Sani was the first to be invited in April this year after the Kaduna Police Command alleged that a suspect in its custody, one Isa Graba has indicted the senator in connection with a murder case. However, the suspect is said to have later confessed that he was tortured to implicate the senator.
Similarly, Dino Melaye, a vocal critic of the President Buhari on the floor of the Senate and a strong supporter of Saraki has also been accused with arming thugs in Kogi State. The Police had paraded two suspects on March 19 in Kogi state who had in their possession a cache of arms and AK 47 riffles who they accused of terrorising Kogi State. Moshood, the police spokesmen alleged that the men had confessed that they were being sponsored Melaye. The Kogi senator is currently facing prosecution based on the allegations.
A common thread among all the three key senators now facing murder related charges or questioning is their vocal opposition to the President Buhari. This has raised strong suspicion that the allegations may be politically motivated.
Meanwhile, the Cable.ng, an online platform reported yesterday evening that the Department of State Security (DSS) yesterday evening recalled half of the security details attached to Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.
TheCable reported that the security operatives attached to the two presiding officers of the national assembly were directed to report to the DSS headquarters “with immediate effect”. No reason was given for the withdrawal, although it is believed to have been at the instance of the presidency, according to TheCable report. As at yesterday evening, BusinessDay could not confirm the online media report. The DSS has no designated spokesperson.
The Kwara state government yesterday evening issued a statement denying the allegations by the Nigeria Police. The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communication to the governor, Muyideen Akorede, described the allegations as false.
“The Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, also rejects the police allegation of arming and funding the suspects for political thuggery or for any other activity as false and unfounded as thuggery or any other form of criminality is neither encouraged nor supported by the state government or its agents” part of the statement read.