Offa bank robbery: Police demand written statement from me, not summon -Saraki

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for the continuation of his trial on an alleged corruption and false declaration of assets, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

•As Osinbajo meets IGP, DG DSS, AGF

By Ikechukwu Okaforadi, Musa Adamu and Lawrence Olaoye Abuja

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has twitted on his official twitter handle @bukolasaraki, saying that the police has asked him not to appear again in person to a specified police station, but rather asked him to write a statement to explain his alleged link with Offa bank robbers in Kwara state last month.
This, according to the Senate President, he will do within 48hours as requested by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) in the letter reportedly addressed to him.
Saraki wrote: “Following my earlier tweet, I have received the letter from @PoliceNG. 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.”
In the earlier twit by the Senate President, he reportedly said following the police delay in sending the letter of invitation, he had instructed his Aide De Camp (ADC) to go to the police high command to collect the invitation letter to enable him honour the invitation as a law abiding citizen.
Recall that the police had asked Senate President, Saraki to come and clear his name over alleged confession of Offa robbery suspects, where they were alleged to have implicated him as their backer.
The gruesome robbery incident claimed 33 lives, including nine police personnel, while the deadly gang laid siege to the town, robbed six banks and ransacked the Divisional Police Headquarters.
According to the police, Senator Saraki was expected to report to the Force Intelligence Response Team office at Guzape, Abuja.
Recall that the Police in a statement on Sunday, had said the invitation had to do with the alleged confession of five of the gang members.
Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, while disclosing that 22 suspects were now in police custody, further alleged that besides the suspects’ confessions, one of the vehicles recovered from the robbers bore a ‘SARAKI’ sticker.
“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 include 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, Senator Bukola Saraki and the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed.
“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, Senator Bukola Saraki and the Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday met with the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, Director General of the Department of State Security (DSS), Lawal Daura and the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris behind closed door.
The reason for the meeting was not however disclosed officially to newsmen as the IGP refused to talk to journalists.
However, there were insinuations that the meeting may not be unconnected with the recent Police invitation extended to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to the Force Headquarters for him to defend himself against the confession made to the police by Offa bank robbery suspects who claimed that they were working for him as political thugs.
One of the suspects, who carried out the deadly robbery where thirty-three persons, including two pregnant women, were killed, had confessed to the police that one of the cars used in the operation was given to him by the Senate President.
But the Saraki had denied the allegation of sponsoring the armed robbers insisting that the IGP was acting in furtherance to his determination to implicate him in criminal matters at all cost.
Saraki had alleged that Idris had earlier attempted to implicate him and the Kwara state governor, Abdufatah Ahmed, when he ordered the transfer of a case involving cultists operating in his state to Abuja.

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