SENATE President Bukola Saraki is to be questioned by the police for alleged criminal indictment by five suspected gangsters involved in the April 5 bank robbery in Offa, Kwara State.
He has been told to report to the Force Intelligence Response Team office in Guzape, Abuja, to clear the air on the allegations against him.
“Senate President Bukola Saraki is being invited to report to the Police to answer allegations indicting him from confessions of five gang leaders arrested for active participation in the Offa bank robbery and the killing of 33 innocent persons,” Police spokesman Jimoh Moshood, an assistant commissioner, said yesterday.
Giving an update on the investigation yesterday, Moshood said five of the suspects confessed that they were political thugs used by the senate president and Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed.
The governor has denied any involvement as alleged.
The five suspects Are: Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibukunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Salawudeen Azeez and Niyi Ogundiran.
“Ogunleye confessed to killing two persons, Abraham killed five persons, Azeez and Ogundiran killed two persons each during the robbery”, the police said.
The robbers attacked five commercial banks, one microfinance bank and a police station. They killed 33 persons, including nine policemen and an expectant woman during the robbery.
Twenty two suspects are in the police net.
Among those being questioned, according to Moshood, are: Michael Adikwu, who the police described as a sectional gang leader, who killed 22 persons, mostly at the police station, Kabiru Afolabi, Omoseni Kassim, Kayode Opadokun, Kazeem Abdulrasheed, Azeez Abdullahi, Adewale Popoola, Adetoyese Muftau, Alexander Reuben, Richard Buba Terry, Peter Jasper Kuunfa, Ikechukwu Ebuka Nnaji, Moses Godwin, Adeola Omiyale and Femi Idowu.
“The five gang leaders further confessed during investigation that they are political thugs under the name ‘Youth Liberation Movement, a.k.a Good Boys’,” Moshood said, adding that the boys admitted to have been sponsored with firearms, money and operational vehicles by Saraki and Ahmed.”
Moshood said the suspects were grabbed following the arrest of two principal suspects, Kunle Ogunleye, known as “Arrow” and Michael Adikwu, an ex-convict.
“The two principal suspects confessed to be among the suspects led by the five gang leaders to carry out the Offa bank robbery,” he said.
He alleged that in the course of investigation, a Lexus GX-300 with a sticker number plate with the inscription “SARAKI” used by the gang leader, Ayoade Akinnibosun, was recovered.
He said the vehicle was taken to the Government House, Ilorin on May 16 where the number plate was removed and replaced with another, Kwara, KMA 143 RM.
“The exhibit vehicle was subsequently recovered from the premises of Ministry of Environment and Forestry in Ilorin, Kwara,” he added.
Moshood said the sticker number plate removed from the vehicle was recovered from Adeola Omiyale who drove the vehicle to the Government House in Ilorin immediately after the bank robbery.
He said millions of naira and 21 AK47 rifles belonging to the police in Offa were admitted to have been carted away during the bank robbery.
Moshood listed items recovered from the suspects as including: “Two AK47 Rifles, Two Barrette Pistols, One Pump Action Rifle, One Revolver Pistol – In Police Custody in Ilorin, Lexus RX300 Jeep with Reg. No. Kwara, KMA 143 RM belonging to Ayoade Akinnibosun (gang leader) – used for the bank robbery, Mercedes Benz – Compressor with Reg. No. Lagos LT496 KJA belonging to Ayoade Akinnibosun (gang leader) – used for the bank robbery and one Toyota Prado Jeep with Reg. No. 19KWGH belonging to the PA Political to the Executive Governor, Kwara State – in police custody in Ilorin.
Other items are: “One Toyota Camry Saloon Car with Reg. No. LRN 481 FE – in police custody in Ilorin, N600,000.00 – in police custody in Ilorin, four phones of victims recovered, one sticker plate number with inscription “SARAKI” “Kwara, State of Harmony”
Moshood alleged that the Personal Assistant (Political) to the Kwara Governor, Mr. Alabi Olalekan, had also been arrested for concealing information from the police.
Also arrested is the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Yusuf Abdulwahab.
According to him, Olalekan who was privy to information that the police were looking for the vehicle, directed Adeola Omiyale to relocate it to the Government House.
“The PA is currently in police custody and has made useful statements assisting the police in further investigation into the case,” he said.
He said that a revolver pistol and a pump action gun were recovered by the police investigation team from Olalekan’s farm where he directed his brother to hide them.
The spokesman said 22 suspects involved in the bank robbery were in police custody.
He said efforts were being intensified to arrest other suspects still at large and all suspects involved would be arraigned in court for prosecution on completion of investigation.
He said that the police would continue to ensure that the rule of law prevailed in every case under police investigation and offenders were brought to justice.
I have no link with criminals, says Saraki
Senate President Bukola Saraki yesterday denied any links with the criminal elements, who robbed banks in Offa and killed 33 people.
He however said he would visit the police after receiving a formal invitation.
Saraki’s position is contained in a statement last night by his spokesman Yusuph Olaniyonu, who described his invitation as “part of the plan to abuse of the criminal investigation process aimed at intimidating and over-overawing the legislature, thereby obstructing it from doing its work”.
The statement said: “Dr. Saraki will want the entire public to disregard this claim as a baseless allegation and another ploy by the Police to implicate him by all means.
“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 “.