Nigeria: Offa Robbery - Police Say More Evidence Indicts Saraki

Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

The Nigerian Police Wednesday said it has unearthed more pieces of evidence that link the Senate President Bukola Saraki to the suspected leaders of a robbery gang that attacked six banks and killed 33 persons in Offa, Kwara State, on April 5.

Saraki from Ilorin is the immediate past governor of the State.

While announcing the arrest of two more suspects in the robbery attack, police spokesman Jimoh Moshood said further investigations revealed "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 two suspects, Alhaji Kehinde Gobiri and Alhaji Oba Shuaib Olododo, Moshood said, have confessed to committing crimes "in Kwara Central Senatorial District under the guise of political thuggery for the Senate President, Sen. Bukola Saraki."

He said on Wednesday afternoon that the gang leaders "have direct link" to Saraki, pointing to a picture of one of the five gang leaders wearing a cloth used during the wedding os the Senate President.

Police's latest claims came a day after the National Assembly passed a vote of no confidence on the inspector-general of police Ibrahim Idris, whom the Nigerian Senate described last month as an "enemy of democracy, unfit to hold any public office within and outside Nigeria."

On his part, Saraki insisted he had nothing to do with the crime. He said he was a victim of Inspector-General of Police's plan to frame him up.

"Let it be known that there is no way I could have been associated with armed robbery against my people," Saraki said.

"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 (Inspector General of police), requesting him to make certain specific security arrangements as demanded by the people," he added.

On Sunday, Moshood said the gang leaders confessed to be working for Saraki as "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 by the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki and the Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed."

Moshood said a Lexus jeep purportedly owned by Saraki and used during the robberies had been traced to the government office in Ilorin, Kwara's state capital and two of the governor's personal aides had also been arrested.

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