IGP summons Saraki over Offa robbery

Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police (IGP), has asked Senate President Bukola Saraki to appear at the office of intelligence response team (IRT) office in Abuja over the robbery incident that took place in Offa, Kwara state, in April.

In a letter dated July 23 and addressed to the senate president, Idris asked Saraki to be at IRT’s office at 8am on Tuesday “for further investigation”.

The police had said some of the robbery suspects confessed that they were thugs of the senate president, an allegation Saraki denied.

The lawmaker was asked to appear at force headquarters for questioning but the police eventually said Saraki should not appear in person but respond to the allegations of the suspects in writing.

In the letter, Idris said there was need for the senate president to make clarification on his written response and further make further statements in person.

The IGP said some of the gang leaders alleged that Saraki gave them arms and money.

“It was equally discovered that one of the vehicles, a Lexus Jeep, used by the gang leader (Ayoade Akinnibosun) has a sticker plate number ‘SARAKI’ Kwara State of Harmony’,” the letter read.

“The Lexus jeep was parked in the government house after the arrest of Ayoade Akinnibosun and in order to conceal evidence, the chief of staff to the executive governor of Kwara state, arranged for the removal of the sticker plate number ‘SARAKI Kwara State of Harmony’ from the Lexus jeep and quickly registered it in the name of the suspect, six days after the suspect has been arrested by the police.

“Specifically Mr Ayoade Akinnibosun ‘m’ 27 years in his confessional statement stated that ‘members of his group are Political Thugs working for senator Bukola Saraki and governor of Kwara state’. That he is the head of the political thugs named Youths Liberation Movement covering about seven local governments areas of Kwara south.

“That he gets vehicle and monetary gifts etc from Senator Bukola Saraki through the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Kwara State; that the last money he got directly from senator Bukola Saraki was N500,000. He made mention of some other thugs in Kwara central with guns which senator Bukola Saraki is sponsoring as Alhaji Alawo, Alhaji Dona, Alhaji Jawando among others, that Senator Bukola Saraki supplies the arms and vehicles to the thugs; that everyone in Kwara central fears them because of their guns and ability to kill anybody without hesitation.”

The letter quoted the suspects as saying they accompanied Saraki on a condolence visit to Offa.

“Furthermore the suspect Ayoade Akinnibosun stated that the date you senator Saraki visited Offa in sympathy with the victims to the palace of the Oba, that he and two other gang members were with you in the convoy,” the letter read.

“In your response to the above allegations, you stated ‘by virtue of my participation in politics, I have a large followership which makes it impossible for me to know all of them. I can say categorically that i am in no way associated with the vehicle mentioned in your letter nor have I given any arms to any thug or other persons in kwara State or anywhere else.

“For the records, your letter under reference did not include the full text of the statements made by the accused persons.’

“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.”

Over 20 people, including police officers, were killed by the armed robbers who attacked five commercial banks in the city.