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Send your men to question me, Saraki tells IG

Send your men to question me, Saraki tells IG

The President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has asked the Inspector- General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to send his personnel to come to his office and interview him in respect of the police investigation into the April 5th over the Offa robbery.

Consequently, he noted that he would not report to the police station as directed in a letter by Idris. Saraki made this known in a letter dated July 24, where he responded to the invitation by the Police, asking him to report to their station in Guzape, Abuja, on Tuesday, over the Offa bank robbery. 

The President of the Senate reminded the IGP that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the police to obtain written statement from him or send personnel to question him if he was needed for questioning. He, therefore, requested the IGP to either send his personnel to his office to get any required information from him or accept his written response.

The President of the Senate further said that he was concerned about his safety on Tuesday morning due to the unprecedented harassment meted to him by the security operatives. Saraki, in the letter, said: “You will recall that Mr. President had earlier directed as a courtesy to this office, that in the event of any request for further information from me, you should either send your personnel to my office or obtain a written response from me.

“I request you, therefore, to please assign your personnel who need information on this matter, to meet me in my office, immediately after plenary today, or tomorrow or any other day at your convenience.” The request of the Senate President was granted by the police. Special Assistant on New Media to the President of the Senate, Olu Onemola, confirmed the meeting between Saraki and the police yesterday. “Further to the invitation to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, by the Police on July 23, 2018, and his written response to them on July 24, 2018 on why he could not see them that day — today (Thursday) at about 1:40p.m., the Senate President met with a team of investigators on the Offa Robbery case in his office.

“Dr. Saraki used the opportunity to reiterate the fact that he has nothing to do with either the robbery incident on April 5, 2018, or any other criminal activity.” Saraki was initially invited for questioning in early June after some of the Offa bank robbery suspects allegedly confessed that they were being sponsored by him.

However, the police later asked him to respond in a written form to the allegations instead. Consequently, Saraki sent a written response to the police in respect of the allegations. In his initial response on Monday, Saraki denied all allegations of involvement in the planning or execution of the Offa bank robbery in April which caused the death of 31 people. Meanwhile, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) has told the IG Idris that Police did not have any case against the Senate President and Kwara State Governor Abdulfattah Ahmed over the robbery attack.

The AGF, in a letter dated June 22 and written through the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, Muhammad Umar, noted that the Police did not have any evidence linking Saraki and Abdulfattah to the incident. In the letter, the AGF told the police to ramp up its investigation and also painstakingly explore all critical areas before identifying the Senate President as a suspect in the carnage, much less filing charges against him.

The DPP submitted that, “no evidence is credible enough to sustain any charge based on any offence known to law against him.” The statement noted that only six prime suspects should be charged to court for armed robbery and murder which could draw capital punishment upon conviction. Olalekan Alabi, a personal assistant to Governor Ahmed, was also recommended for trial, but only on lesser charge of illegal possession of arms. The letter stressed that the AGF office could not establish a nexus between Saraki, Governor Ahmed, and the suspected robbers.

The letter reads in part: “For the Senate President and the Kwara State governor, this office is unable to establish from the evidence in the interim report a nexus between the alleged offence and the suspects. Hence, it is in our advice that further and thorough investigation in this regard be carried out.” But, Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Mr. Jimoh Moshood, an acting Deputy Commissioner of Police, denied that the AGF exonerated Saraki. According to Moshood, the Force was only asked to carry out further investigation into the case. Moshood said it was on the basis of the advice, that the Force invited Saraki for questioning. He insisted that the Senate President has a case to answer and so, must turn himself in for interrogation.

“The DPP of the Federation, in the legal advice, did not restrain or restrict the Force from investigating further, the indictments against the Senate President, Dr. 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’s 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 July 23, 2018, was sent to the Senate President to appear on July 24, 2018 at 8a.m. before the investigation team at the Intelligence Response Team office, Guzape Junction, Abuja,” Moshood said.

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