… As Police Claim Suspect ‘slumped and died’ in Custody, insist, Saraki and Abdulfatah has case to answer
Following the confirmation by the Nigeria Police Force over the death of Michael Adikwu, sectional gang leader responsible for the death of 22 among the 33 persons during the Offa Bank Robbery, the Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) has called for a full probe into the circumstances relating to his death.
The Police had said that Adikwu, a dismissed Police officer and ex-convict was not murdered but slumped and died in detention while investigation into the Offa Bank Robbery was ongoing.
However, reacting to the call for probe by the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki who was indicted during investigation on the robbery incidence, the Police averred that the deceased was not among the five gang leaders that indicted and implicated the senate President; therefore, his death cannot in anyway vindicate Senator Saraki.
According to the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, all five suspects that indicted and implicated Senator Saraki, in the Offa Bank Robbery are alive and now in Court and the death of Adikwu cannot vindicate the Senate President as the law must take its course.
The gang during the robbery allegedly killed 33 persons including pregnant women and nine Police personnel and carted away of 22 AK 47 Rifles at the Offa Police Divisional Headquarters during the Robbery on April 5, 2018.
Responding to the statement from Yusuf Olaniyonu, Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to the Senate President, on the death of Adikwu, the police insisted that from the confessions of the five gang leaders namely; Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibukunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Salawudeen Azeez, Niyi Ogundiran, Senator Saraki was indicted.
The five suspects admitted in their confessional statements to the Police investigators that they were political thugs of Sen. Saraki and the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Alh. Abdulfatah Ahmed.
The gang leaders further confessed during investigation that they are political thugs under the name Youth Liberation Movement a.k.a “Good Boys” they also admitted and confessed to have been sponsored with firearms, money and operational vehicles.
It was also discovered during investigations that three (3) gang leaders who participated actively in the Offa Bank Robbery (i) Ayoade Akinnibosun aka AY (ii) Ibukunle Ogunleye aka Arrow and (iii) Adeola Abraham followed the Senate President, Sen. Bukola Saraki to Oloffa’s Palace when the Senate President paid a condolence visit to Offa after the Bank Robbery.
The Police however said that Adikwu was not paraded along with the gang leaders now standing trial because he was taken out to arrest other members of the gang and recover the 22 AK 47 Rifles carted away during the Offa Bank Robbery.
Meanwhile, a leading pro-democracy and Non-Governmental body HURIWA has condemned the secrecy surrounding the police handling of the suspected armed robbers that robbed banks recently in Offa, Kwara state and the murder of the kingpin Adikwu.
Besides, HURIWA has called for a comprehensive audit of the detention facilities of the Nigeria police force by a combined team of the United Nations special rapporteur on extralegal execution, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and credible pro-democracy organizations to take inventory of the human rights situations and the alleged high rate of police extralegal executions of suspects.
“We are shocked that since the suspected billionaire Kidnapper (Evans) made the allegation before the Lagos state High Court that he was made by the police to witness extra judicial killings of ten suspects, the Nigerian central government and the National Human Rights Commission never bothered to immediately investigate this weighty allegation.
“We are worried that the Nigerian state has normalised extralegal killings by police and the widespread use of torture on suspects. These evil practices are antithetical to the human rights provisions enshrined in chapter 4 of the 1999 constitution which absolutely prohibits the use of torture and extralegal killings.
“We totally condemn this practice and particularly regard this current case as a litmus test for this government to either clear the air on the plot to politically manipulate the Offa robbery with the diabolical objective of forcing some of the suspects to implicate the number one political rival of the President. Why was it the principal character who reportedly exonerated the Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki from the crime that has now been murdered? This means directly that the Force headquarters has something to hide,” HURIWA said.
HURIWA specifically condemned the suspected murder in police detention facility of the principal suspect in the Offa robbery with the suspected plot by the police to politically implicate the senate president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in order to settle scores.
The Rights group expressed dismay that the handling of the Offa robbery case by the police has been marred by political manipulations and sinister plots to rope in the major political rival of the president who is the appointing authority of the Inspector General of Police.
HURIWA said apart from the high powered audits of all police detention centers by high profile team to be drawn from the United Nations and Nigeria, the Kwara state government should constitute a judicial commission of inquiry to ascertain the circumstances leading to the suspected murder of the principal suspect in the Offa robbery to unravel the alleged plot to rope in the holder of the office of the Senate president.