Senate President Bukola Saraki has finally made a statement to the Nigerian police, in respect of the investigation into the multiple robberies in Offa on 5 April, in which 31 people were killed.
The police in a brief statement on Thursday, July 26, 2018 reported the Senate President “made cautionary statement to the Police Investigation Team investigating the case of Offa bank robbery that occurred on 5th April, 2018”.
The police said investigation is in progress on the matter.
On Monday, Ibrahim Idris, the inspector general of police, invited Saraki to report to the Head of investigation team, of the Intelligence Response Team ( IRT) on July 24 at 8 a.m. in Guzape, Abuja. But Saraki ignored the invitation until Thursday 26 July.
The police had on 4 June asked for Saraki’s reaction to the statement made by some of the suspects arrested in connection to the most deadly robbery in the history of Nigeria. Saraki wrote a statement dated 7 June.
Idris ruled the statement inadequate.
“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.”
In a response, Saraki described the invitation as a mere afterthought which is designed to achieve political purpose.
“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, 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 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.”, Saraki said.
The invitation was later to be mired in controversy as a report by the Ministry of Justice was leaked to the media. The report by the Office of Federal Prosecutor said the Police had no evidence to hang any charge on Saraki, in connection with the robberies in which 31 people were killed same day.
The police clarified the position of the federal prosector, Samuel Ogundipe:
“It is incumbent on the Force to educate the writer of the story that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) of the Federation in the legal advice did not restrain or restrict the Force from investigating further, the indictments against the Senate President, Sen. Bukola Saraki and the Governor of Kwara State, Abdulfattah Ahmed by the principal suspects arrested in connection with the Offa bank robbery of 5th April, 2018.
“The DPP advice did not exonerate the Senate President, it only called for further investigations into the matter
“It is in the course of further investigations into the case that a letter of invitation dated 23rd July, 2018 was sent to the Senate President to appear on 24th July, 2018 at 8.00am before the Investigation Team at Intelligence Response Team office, Guzape Junction, Abuja.
” Consequently, the Force is hereby re-affirming that the Senate President, Sen. Bukola Saraki has case to answer by virtue of the facts that the statements submitted by the Senate President, Sen. Bukola Saraki earlier to the Investigation Team was not explicit and detailed enough, and was discovered to require further clarifications and interrogation, and coupled with the fact the Senate President, Sen. Bukola Saraki in his statement, claimed that the full text of the statement of the suspects who indicted him in their confessional statements to the Police was not shown to him. It is therefore, imperative for the Senate President, Sen. Bukola Saraki to report to the Police to make further statement after sighting the full text of the statement of the suspects”.
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