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Offa robbery saga: Police make U-turn on Saraki’s invitation

The Nigeria Police on Monday made a U-turn on its invitation of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, over an alleged indictment by suspects arrested in connection with the bloody bank robbery in Offa, Kwara State, last month.

This was made known by Saraki who took to his twitter handle at about 4:25 pm on Monday to announce that the police has dropped the invitation.

Saraki tweeted thus: “Following my earlier tweet, I have received the letter from Police. They are no longer asking me to appear at any station, but to respond in writing to the allegations within 48 hours- which I plan to do”.

The Senate president had earlier disclosed that he sent his aide to collect letter of invitation from police.

“I have just informed my ADC to get the letter of invitation from police in respect of the allegations raised yesterday- so that I can immediately honour the alleged invitation”, he tweeted at 1:12 pm.

The police had on Sunday invited Saraki to answer to allegations surrounding his links to the armed robbers behind the deadly robbery of five of banks and killing of more than 30 persons in Offa on April 5,2018.

The Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Moshood Jimoh, had in a press statement after parading suspects fingered in the robbery, said the Senate President has been invited by the Police to answer some questions.

The statement read in part that the police “has made significant progress, successes and more revelations have been recorded”.

He said the gang leader and some of the principal suspects were arrested for their active participation in the robbery and have made confessional statements, admitting to the various criminal roles they and their sponsors played in this dastard and heinous crime.

“They 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 statement read in part.

He said one Ayoade, the acclaimed leader of the robbery gang, said they were political thugs of Saraki and have been working for him since when he was governor of Kwara State.

Ayoade was said to have confessed that they were not working on the instruction of Saraki but they worked with his encouragement.

Among exhibits the police intelligence monitoring unit secured is a vehicle allegedly given him by Kwara State governmen and a Toyota Prado Jeep marked 19 KWGH belonging to the PA, Political, to the Kwara State governor.

Also, the police alleged the recovery of one sticker number plate with the inscription “SARAKI” Kwara State of Harmony from the suspects.

But reacting to the allegations published on social media, Saraki’s media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, called on the entire public to disregard the claim as a baseless allegation and another ploy by the police to implicate the Senate president by all means.

Saraki said, “Let it be known that there is no way I could have been associated with armed robbery against my people.

When the Offa robbery incident happened, I was the first top public official to pay a visit to the place and right there in the palace of the traditional ruler, I put a call through to this same Mr. Ibrahim Idris, the IGP, requesting him to make certain specific security arrangements as demanded by the people.

“Members of the public will remember that on May 16, 2018, I alerted the Senate about the information passed on to me by my State Governor, Dr. Abdulfatai Ahmed, over a plot by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to frame me up by getting some suspected cultists arrested in Ilorin to implicate me.

It is believed that the timely leakage of the plot in that case aborted the use of the suspected cultists to implicate me. Now, it is the Offa bank robbery suspects that are about to be used.

“This plot is concocted to embarrass me and, in the mind of the IGP, it is his own response after his refusal to honour the invitation by the National Assembly, headed by me, for him to come and offer explanations on the rampant killings and violence across the country.

“Like the earlier one, this frame-up will also fail as I hereby state categorically that I have no link with any band of criminals.

“As a person who has utmost respect for the rule of law and all constitutional institutions, when the invitation from the Police is formally extended to me, I will be ready to honour it without any delay.

“It is however sad that this abuse of the criminal investigation process aimed at intimidating and over-overawing the legislature, thereby obstructing it from doing its work, is a big threat to our democracy “.

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