Offa Robbery: We trust Buhari to ensure justice - Kwara Governor

Date: 2018-06-12

The Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has called on the Nigerian Police Force to carry out a thorough investigation into the Offa robbery and ensure all criminals involved in the dastardly act are brought to justice.

The governor also said he trusts in President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure justice is done on the robbery and avoid politicisation of the matter.

The governor made the call in Ilorin when he received members of the state's Artisan Congress led by its President, Saadu Alawaye, at the Government House to protest against alleged politicisation of Offa robbery attack.

The police have arrested over a dozen suspects who allegedly carried out the robbery of banks in Offa, Kwara State, during which 33 people were killed.

The police also say five of the suspects confirmed that they had in the past been armed and sponsored by Mr Ahmed and Senate President Bukola Saraki. Both men have denied the allegations.

The police initially summoned Mr Saraki to explain his relationship with the suspects, but later asked him to put it in writing. The Senate president has since done as directed by the police.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, met with Mr Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo over Mr Saraki's alleged links to criminals in Kwara State. The meeting with Mr Osinbajo, also attended by Attorney General Abubakar Malami and state security director Lawal Daura, is believed to have led the police to shift stance from summoning the senate president to just asking him to write.

On Monday, the governor, who alongside Mr Saraki has questioned the police's actions, urged the police not to politicise the robbery.

According to Mr Ahmed who reiterated his firm belief in the nation's judicial system and ability of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure justice and equity, "since the criminals have made confessional statements about their armourer, they should be treated accordingly."

"We're worried that the dimension the issue is taking, and especially the media trial by the police even before conclusion of investigation, may give other suspects at large a leeway to escape. This is why it's necessary for the police to arrest all those involved in the incident and prosecute them accordingly," he said.

The governor called on Nigerians to add their voices to critical national issues in order to ensure equity and justice.

Gov Ahmed, who assured the artisan congress that the government would not relent in supporting the informal sector, insisted that whoever benefitted from the government's Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises support scheme and still engaged in criminal acts must be made to face the full wrath of the law.

Speaking earlier, the State President of Artisan Congress, Saadu Alawaye, said the team was at the Government House to show solidarity with the governor and Mr Saraki over the alleged politicisation of Offa robbery attack.

Mr Alawaye who led members carrying placards with various inscriptions such as: "Say No To Intimidation; don't Politicise Offa Banks Killings; we love Maigida; Megida is Our Good Governor, Nigeria Sai Saraki", among others, commended Mr Ahmed for his empowerment programme and support to the informal sector.

He assured the governor that the artisans would continue to support his government in delivering dividends of democracy to the citizenry.

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