[Offa robberies] Police interogate Saraki in National Assembly

Written by on July 27, 2018

A team of detectives from the Nigeria Police on Thursday afternoon interrogated President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, at his office in the National Assembly Complex.

Saraki’s Special Assistant on New Media, Olu Onemola, made it known on his Twitter handle.

He tweeted, “Further to the invitation to the Senate President, Dr Abubakar 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 at about 1:40 pm, 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 had nothing to do with either the robbery incident on April 5, 2018, or any other criminal activity.”

The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, had on Monday invited Saraki to report to the Force Intelligence Response Team office at Guzape, Abuja, for interrogation over alleged links to the masterminds of the crime.

The IG, in a letter dated July 23, asked Saraki to report to the police on Tuesday at 8am to provide further clarification on his relationship with the five leaders of the robbery gang who attacked banks in Offa, Kwara State.

Saraki had on Tuesday written to the IG. The letter was leaked to News men in Abuja on Thursday.

In the letter, Saraki gave reasons why he could not honour the invitation on Tuesday, including an instruction by President Muhammadu Buhari that the police should send their personnel to him for questioning or take his defence in writing.

He wrote, “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 need to place on record as well that following the incident of being harassed and threatened at my residence by the police early this morning, I am deeply concerned over my physical security.”

DPP’s report didn’t exonerate Saraki —Police

Before Saraki’s meeting with the detectives, the police had refuted reports that the Director of Public Prosecutions exonerated Saraki of alleged involvement in the robbery incident.

The Force spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, stated that the DPP legal advice simply directed the police to carry out further investigations into the matter.

He said, “The DPP 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 23rd July, 2018 was sent to the Senate President to appear on 24th July, 2018 at 8am before the Investigation Team at the Intelligence Response Team Office, Guzape Junction, Abuja.”

The police were reacting to a report by an online news medium stating that the DPP, U.E. Mohammed, had written to the Force to say his office could not establish a nexus between Saraki and the armed robbery suspects.

The police had alleged that the suspects had a direct link to Saraki and the Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatai Ahmed, insisting that the two men provided arms and supplied a Lexus SUV to the gang which were used in the bank robberies.

Both men have denied all of the allegations against them.

“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 our advice that further and thorough investigation in this regard be carried out,” Mohammed had stated in his legal advice on the case.

The DPP advised the police to establish whether the robberies were carried out at the instance of Saraki and Ahmed.

Mohammed also directed the police to ascertain whether the weapons used for the robbery attack were supplied by either the Senate President or the governor of Kwara State.

The DPP asked the force to provide evidence that might assist in establishing a prima facie case of aiding and abetting crime, or accessory after the fact against Saraki and Ahmed.

Moshood in his statement had said the Monday invitation to Saraki was a sequel to the DPP advice directing the police to carry out further investigations into the robberies.

“It is in the course of further investigations into the case that a letter of invitation dated 23rd July, 2018 was sent to the Senate President to appear on 24th July, 2018 at 8 am.

“Consequently, the Force is hereby re-affirming that the Senate President, Sen. Bukola Saraki, has a case to answer by virtue of the facts that the statements submitted by him earlier to the investigation team was not explicit and detailed enough, and was discovered to require further clarifications and interrogation,” the police spokesman stated.

Moshood said it was imperative for Saraki to report to the police to make a further statement after sighting the full text of the statements of the suspects, which he earlier said he did not have access to.

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