The attention of the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has been drawn to a story circulating online and apparently derived from a Press Conference addressed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Moshood Jimoh, linking him (Saraki) to the Offa robbery.
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 “, the Senate President stated.
Also, Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has refuted police allegations of sponsoring, funding, arming or otherwise supporting political thuggery.
In a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communication, Dr. Muyideen Akorede in response to a Nigeria Police statement accusing him of sponsoring political thugs allegedly linked to the Offa Armed Robbery incident, Alhaji Ahmed described the allegations as false and rejected his alleged indictment by the Nigeria Police or the armed robbery suspects in their custody.
Governor Ahmed affirmed that while the state government has empowered several youth groups under its acclaimed Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) scheme neither he nor the statement government can be held liable for how beneficiaries utilize the credit.
He therefore urged the police to complete their investigations and charge the suspects to court soon in line with the dictates of the rule of law.
Full text of the statement reads:
Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed denies the allegations of supporting political thuggery or any other acts of criminality as alleged by the Nigeria Police or the suspects allegedly arrested in connection with the tragic Offa robbery.
Neither has he at any time funded or provided arms to any individual or group in the state or anywhere in the country.
To set the records straight, the Kwara State Government has a well known empowerment scheme under the Small and Medium Enterprises platform which is used to move women and youths groups into entrepreneurship.
Consequently, several youth and women groups have benefitted from the scheme to date. However, at no point did the Kwara State government directly provide funds to any group known as Good Boys for any purpose.
Similarly, if any of the beneficiaries chose to use the SME credit secured from the government to purchase a vehicle which was then alleged to have been used for an act of criminality, the Kwara State Governor and indeed the state government cannot be held liable for such actions since neither had prior knowledge of such intentions on beneficiaries’ part.
The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed also rejects the police allegation of arming and funding the suspects for political thuggery or for any other activity as false and unfounded as thuggery or any other form of criminality is neither encouraged nor supported by the state government or its agents.
While refuting the alleged indictment, therefore, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed expresses the hope that the police will soon complete its investigations and charge the suspects to court in line with rule of law.
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