The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, 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 this year.
In a letter dated July 23 and addressed to Saraki, the police IG asked the Senate President 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 Saraki’s thugs, an allegation he has since 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.
Details of the letter of invitation which was addressed to the Senate President read: “Letter of Invitation; Case of Offa robbery and gruesome murder of more than 31 persons and snatching of 21 AK47 Rifles on the 5th of April, 2018.
“I refer to this office letter CR:3000/IGP.SEC/ABJ/VOL./130/571 dated 4th June 2018 and your letter of response NASS/8th/S/SP/lGP/15/6/18 dated 7th June 2018 on the above subject matter (copies attached) and to further restate as follows.
“Recall that the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) is investigating a case of Armed Robbery which occurred on the 5th of April, 2018 during which a gang of dare devil Armed Robbers, stormed Offa, Kwara State and attacked a Police Station, robbed six Banks namely First Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, ECO Bank, Zenith Bank, Union Bank and lbolo Micro Finance Bank, killed over thirty one (31) Persons including nine Police officers and pregnant women and snatched twenty (21) AK47 rifles.
“During the investigation’of the Armed Robbery by the Intelligence Response Team, a CCTV footage of the Armed Robbery in one of the banks, captured the image of two persons. The CCTV footage was circulated on the social media and this led to their identification as Kunle Ogunleye and Micheal Adikwu. The two persons were tracked and arrested by the Police and they made very useful statements and named the five gang leaders who organized the Armed Robbery.
“Some of the five gang leaders made confessional statements admitting their participation in this worst Armed Robbery in the history of Nigeria and that they are political thugs under the name, Youth Liberation Movement aka ‘Good boys’ allegedly sponsored by you and that you have given them firearms, money and vehicles. 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 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 (7) 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 Five Hundred Thousand (N500,000) Naira.
“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 armsand vehicles to the thugs; that everyone in Kwara Central fear them because of their guns and ability to kill anybody without hesitation”.
“Furthermore the suspect Ayoade Akinm’bosun 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.
“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.”
FG Receives List Of Indicted SARS Operatives, AGF Approves Prosecution
The National Human Rights Commission on Monday submitted a list of 35 operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), for prosecution.
Submitting the list at the AGF office in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Mr Tony Ojukwu, said the list was an extract of the full report of the Special Presidential Panel on SARS earlier submitted to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), on June 3, 2019.
Briefing newsmen, Ojukwu said the affected SARS operatives were indicted in offenses bordering on extrajudicial killings, unlawful arrest and detention, threat and intimidation, unfounded allegations, seizure of properties, and illegal freezing of accounts of innocent citizens.
He noted that the report of the panel contained the findings on the complaints gathered from Nigerians during the sitting of the panel in the six geopolitical zones of the country.
He added that the list of the indicted operatives was accompanied with the full report of the panel to guide the prosecution of the indicted operatives.
Responding, Malami said his office would do justice to the list “through prosecution and taking associated incidental administrative steps”.
The minister, who said the Buhari regime had embarked on policies and legislation such as the Police Act 2020 to ensure deep reforms of the police in the country, also said the panel’s report would not be implemented to protect the interest of the victims without considering the interests of the general society.
He said the report would be implemented in line with the “multi-way-traffic nature of the justice system”.
The submission came amid protests by the youth in different parts of the country calling for the scrapping of SARS, an end to police brutality, and reform of the police force.
#EndSARS: Tinubu Hails Protesters, Blasts Hoodlums, Pleads For Cessation
The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said there is no one who is committed to the rule of law and good governance that would be opposed to the ongoing #EndSARS protests by the Nigerian youths.
Tinubu, in a statement on Monday, said the protests, which had gone on for 12 days, were justified, given gross human rights violations and impunity by the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force.
He also commended Nigerian youths for the level of organization that went into the protests, saying it showed a new level of consciousness that could strengthen Nigeria’s democracy.
He said the ongoing resistance by the youths against police brutality was reminiscent of the emancipation struggle against the colonial rule and military dictatorship, which gave birth to democracy.
However, Tinubu said the protesters must admit that the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had “acted with commendable dispatch by not only scrapping SARS but also accepting the five-point demand that triggered the protests.”
He said it would only be fair for the youths to call off the protests and give the regime a chance to implement the reforms they had demanded.
Tinubu’s statement on the protest, which he personally signed, was titled, ‘#EndSARS protests – The remedy for national maladies is more, not less, democracy’.
He said, “It is impossible for anyone truly committed to the rule of law, democracy, and good governance to be opposed to the concern and demands of the protesters. There is no way that any society can make meaningful progress without the enthronement of these values.
“The protesters have, for the better part of the commencement of their civil action, conducted themselves with an admirable sense of responsibility, restraint, and maturity. This is commendable. Indeed, the high level of organization demonstrated by the protesting youths shows a new level of consciousness of the capability of a vigilant civil society as well as the efficacy of people’s power. This can only ultimately strengthen the country’s democratic evolution and sustainability.”
While urging the protesters to withdraw, Tinubu said Buhari had shown “a laudable sensitivity to the grievances of the youths.”
He said, “It is only fair that the government must be given the chance to implement the reforms demanded by the protesters. This can certainly not be done instantaneously by the waving of a magic wand. If the government had not implemented promised reforms in the past, the swiftness with which it has responded to the demands of the protesters this time around shows that there is a positive change by the government both of attitude and of a new sense of urgency.”
Tinubu urged the youths to be careful not to fritter away the considerable gains they had made within a very short period with “lack of moderation and strategic thinking”.
He said it was unfortunate that hoodlums, thugs, and assorted criminals had begun to take advantage of the protests to perpetrate violence and disrupt civil life.
He said he believed the intention of the organizers of the protest was not to “cause generalized anarchy or effect regime change.”
Tinubu warned the youths that if they gave the impression that their intention was to effect a change of regime “then any government will necessarily have to act with the requisite decisiveness and force to restore law and order and preserve the constitutional rule.”
However, he said the ruling APC must see the protest as “an opportunity to go back to the drawing board and recommit itself to the values for which the party was formed through extraordinary hard work, dedication, and commitment.”
Meanwhile, the pan-Fulani Socio-Cultural organization, Miyetti Allah Kailutal Hore Fulani Socio-Cultural Association, has accused Tinubu of masterminding and bankrolling the #EndSARS protest currently rocking the country.
The Fulani group claimed that the #EndSARS protest, allegedly being financed by Tinubu, was aimed at bringing down the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
This, the group claimed, was because Tinubu had lost out “in the plans to contest the presidential election under the All Progressive Congress in 2023.”
The Fulani group warned that they won’t take it lightly with Tinubu should anything untoward happen to their kinsman.
They said this in a statement titled, ‘#EndSARS: Gathering of political vultures,’ in Kaduna on Monday.
The statement was signed by Miyetti Allah’s National President, Alhaji Abdullahi Bodejo, and the Secretary, Alhaji Saleh Alhasan.
According to them, the continued protest despite the government’s yielding is an attempt to ground the country and create more suffering in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group demanded that Tinubu should call off the #EndSARS protest and allow the Federal Government to fashion out modalities to address the nation’s challenges.
Alleging “ethnic and regional colouration” to the #EndSARS protests, they added, “Some people from certain regions are trying to undermine and overthrow a democratically-elected government or intimidate the North to give up its rights to rule beyond 2023.
“The insistence to continue to protest even when the government has made concessions; the open defiance is reckless, provocative; denial of access to means of livelihood can lead to fracas and conflict.
“The demands of the protesters are nebulous, inconsistent, haphazard, whimsical, and impossible to meet.”
When contacted, Tinubu’s spokesman, Tunde Rahman, said, “As it has been stated elsewhere, Asiwaju Tinubu could not have sponsored the #EndSARS protest that has blocked one of the main entries into and out of Lagos and one of the economic arteries of the Lagos State Government. He could also not have sponsored such a protest where he too has been labelled a target by the organizers.”
BREAKING: Lagos Orders Closure Of Schools Over #EndSARS Protests
The Lagos State Government has directed all pupils/students in public and private schools to stay at home following the tension generated by the anti-SARS protests.
Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, who issued the directive, said the safety of the pupils/students, parents, and all staff working in schools was paramount “at this critical period.”
She, however, advised parents to keep an eye on their wards and not allow them to be used as willing tools in the hands of those who might want to hijack the protests to unleash mayhem on the society.
The Commissioner also encouraged schools to utilize other means of distance teaching and learning such as radio, television, and online media as they have been doing during and post COVID-19 lockdown.
According to Adefisayo, a new date of resumption for all classes will be announced as soon as possible.
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