Senate President Bukola Saraki has called for the probe of the death of the leader of the gang that robbed five banks and killed 32 people in Offa on April 5.
Michael Adikwu, who is alleged to be a political thug of Saraki is reported by the police to have died and could not be arraigned along with four other suspects.
Adikwu who had confessed to the robbery was also explicitly captured by the CCTV cameras installed in one of the banks during the robbery.
Saraki in a statement signed on Wednesday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, urged the Presidency to institute a judicial inquiry into how and when the principal suspect died in police custody.
“Following eventual disclosure by the Police that Michael Adikwu, the principal suspect in the deadly bank robbery attacks in Offa, Kwara State, on April 5, 2018, is dead, the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has called on the Presidency to institute a judicial inquiry into the ‘how and when’ the suspect died.”
The Senate President added that the new disclosure by the police has vindicated his earlier claim that the suspect had been murdered in police custody and that the investigation was politically motivated to implicate him, Governor Abdul-Fatai Ahmed and a few others.
“It should be recalled that when we mentioned it that the principal suspect had been murdered and that investigation into the Offa robbery attack was politically motivated and targeted at implicating me and other individuals, the Police Public Relations Officer, Moshood Jimoh said: ‘Michael Adikwu is in Police custody.
“You know that he is the one that led the killing of 22 people. The firearms that were carted away, he is helping the police in the investigation to recover them. There is a state in the South-west where they kept him. I can’t mention the state. It is in one of the South-west states’.
“The fresh facts have now thrown more light into why there had been inconsistencies in the various statements by the police. The Police initially told the Attorney-General of Kwara State that the principal suspect was alive and they only later reluctantly disclosed that he died in the course of the arrest.
“How can a suspect confirmed to be in custody now be said to have died in the course of arrest? This contradiction shows a deliberate attempt to cover up something,” he said.
Saraki added that an inquiry into the death would help to thoroughly examine and interrogate how the investigation into the robbery incident was conducted by the police and whether the investigation followed the normal process and complied with global best practices.
Saraki had been invited by the police to throw more light on the allegation from the confession made by some of the suspects.
The robbery suspects alleged that they were associates of Saraki and Governor of Kwara state.
Saraki had made a statement to the police, in respect of the investigation into the multiple robberies in Offa on 5 April.
The police said Senate President “made cautionary statement to the Police Investigation Team investigating the case of Offa bank robbery that occurred on 5th April, 2018”.
The Inspector General of Police had invited Saraki to report to the Head of investigation team, of the Intelligence Response Team ( IRT) on July 24 at 8 a.m. in Guzape, Abuja. But Saraki ignored the invitation until Thursday 26 July.
The police had on 4 June asked for Saraki’s reaction to the statement made by some of the suspects arrested in connection to the most deadly robbery in the history of Nigeria. Saraki wrote a statement dated 7 June.
Idris ruled the statement inadequate.
“After a careful perusal of your letter to the Police, it was discovered that the statement requires further clarification and coupled with the fact that you stated that the full text of the statements of the suspects were not shown to you, it is imperative you report to the Police to make further statements after giving you the full text of the statements of the suspects.