Offa Robbery; SDP Knocks Police, CACOL Insist Saraki Must Respond To Allegations

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Reactions have continued to trail the allegations of the involvement of the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki and the Kwara state governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed in the Offa armed robbery which claimed over 30 lives, with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) condemning the Police for making it “a media trial”.

The FCT Chairman of the party, Dennis Etim Inyang-Mbekwe told The News Chronicle in Abuja that having followed the media reporting of the Offa Robbery with keen interest, the heinous Crime was condemnable in totality.

“While we commend police investigation into this crime we wish to differ with the police on the following grounds:  “The attempt by the police to make this crime look as a criminal offence committed by the Senate President committed is totally unacceptable, the strategy by the Nigerian police to make the process a media trial is more of a campaign of calumny with the obvious intention to misrepresent the personality of the senate President Dr Saraki.

“We frown at a situation whereby the police unwittingly drag a sacred and revered institution of democracy into opprobrium is condemnable, this very act by the Nigeria Police and indeed the hierarchy responsible for this show of shame should be brought to book.

“This does not represent the police as patriotic, since they have only further fueled the misrepresentation of Nigeria globally by projecting us as a country whose most sacred institution of democracy is headed by thieve and criminal.

“The other day it was Senator Dina Melaye , now the president of the Senate is clearly the target of rubbishing  by the Nigerian Police . Nigerian should see these as police lawlessness against the institution of democracy that the Inspector General of Police blatantly refuse to appear before.

“It is curious to note that while the Nigerian Police were desperately trying   to link the senate president to  Offa crime , they deliberately omitted the details that one of the men that led the operations and killed  the highest number of  victim is by his own account a police man who is taking vengeance for wrongful dismissal  from the police force, Nigerians should rise in one accord to tell the police to end their callous campaign against the senate”, he said.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has called on the Senate President to respond to the allegations that have been leveled against him by the Police.

CACOL, through Ikenna Aghagbobi, the Acting Media Officer of the Centre averred that the group is alarmed that the gang leader, Ayoade Akinnibosun, in an interview with journalists said he worked as a political thug for Saraki while he was still in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

He also stated that the more alarming details is that the robbers were allegedly sponsored with firearms, money and operational vehicles by the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki and the Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed.

Reacting to these apprise, the centre has urged the police to investigate diligently, the allegations made by the Offa robbers against Saraki and Dogara as being sponsors of gangsterism.

“Even though the robbers have reported that, Saraki, and Dogara were not directly connected with the robberies, sponsoring mayhem and disrupting the rule of law is a grievous offence and hence, should not be treated with levity.

“It is a shocking and disgraceful revelation that those whom we entrusted the power to make decisions on the nation’s behalf are being mentioned in one type of crime or the other. This time, we should not sweep it under the rug as we do to most cases involving those in public offices.

“While we hope these allegations are not politically motivated, we believe it is wrong to withdraw the security aides of these men based on mere allegations. The law provides that an accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

“CACOL considers it imperative that the Police initiate a probe to find out what exactly transpired between the Senate President and Offa robbers. Other criminals being detained in connection with this case should also be questioned to expose their accomplices. We also urge our security institutions not to relent in their quest to maintain law and order across the country.”

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