The Centre for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership,( CACOL) has frowned at the reported exoneration of the Senate President Bukola Saraki from last April’s armed robbery attack in Offa, Kwara State by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami.
CACOL’s Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, in a release signed by its Media and Publication Officer, Ikenna Aghagbobi, dismissed the position of the AGF on the controversial case.
Malami had advised the police to drop all charges against the Senate President and the Governor of Kwara State Abdulfatah Ahmed over the Offa robbery case on the ground that the evidence against them was not substantial. The Attorney General’s Office also suggested that only six prime suspects should be charged to court for armed robbery and murder.
The CACOL boss further stated that: “The Attorney -General is neither an investigator nor a Judge thus, he is not in the position to clear the Senate President’s name when authorities charged with the responsibility of investigation and conviction have not done so. It is surprising how a senior government officer who should know better keeps committing blunders every now and then. Armed robbery and murder are very serious crimes that cannot be said to be over until the case is concluded in court”.
Adeniran also pointed out that: “If the Senate President and the Kwara State Governor are truly innocent and were not directly or indirectly involved in the robbery incident, it is imperative that they defend themselves in court in view of the confessional statements of the arrested suspects.
“The law should be allowed to take its course and it must be ensured that diligent investigations have been carried out, and judgment delivered by a court before any suspected person is declared innocent or otherwise as this will not only eliminate any iota of doubt but also strengthen our faith in the judicial system. “
The public prosecution office under the Ministry of Justice had said that it could not establish a link between Saraki and the suspects arrested over the Offa robbery.
Mohammed U.E, director, public prosecution of the federation, reportedly wrote Idris Ibrahim, Inspector General of Police, saying from evidence in the interim report on the matter, his office could not establish a nexus between Saraki, Ahmed, and the suspects.
Mohammed, however, advised the police to carry out a further investigation as it concerns the senator and governor.
“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 it in our advice that further and thorough investigation in this regard be carried out,” Mohammed said.
“Areas to be covered include but not limited to the following;
“i. Establish whether the planning and the execution of the robbery attack of the 5th April 2018 at Offa was carried out at their instance, knowledge or approval.
“ii. Whether the weapons used for the robbery attack aforementioned were supplied by either the senate president, Bukola Saraki or the governor of Kwara state, Abdulfatai Ahmed.
“iii. And any other area or areas that may assist in establishing a prima facie case of aiding and abetting crime, or accessory after the fact.”