Offa robbery: Suspected gang leader dies in police custody - Commissioner
The principal suspect in the Offa bank robbery attack, Michael Adikwu, has died in police custody in Abuja, an official says.
Kamal Ajibade, the Kwara State commissioner for justice, told an Ilorin High Court on Wednesday during the arraignment of five suspects.
Mr Ajibade told the court that Abba Kyari, a deputy commissioner of police and the head of intelligence team of the Inspector-General of Police, informed him of the death of the suspect on the telephone.
He, therefore, sought for an adjournment to enable the prosecution amend the charges and remove the name of the deceased suspect.
He said since the suspect is reportedly dead, he can no longer stand trial.
In her ruling, the judge, Halima Salman, granted the prayers of the commissioner and adjourned the case until November 30 for mention.
NAN reports that the suspects allegedly stormed Offa and robbed more than five banks killing about 31 persons in the operation.
The suspects, who appeared before the court were Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Salaudeen Azeez and Niyi Ogundiran.
They were arraigned on a three-count charge of Criminal Conspiracy, Armed Robbery and Culpable Homicide, which contravened the provisions of sections 6 (b) 1(2) of the Armed Robbery and Firearms Act and 221 of the Penal Code.
Speaking with journalists after the adjournment, Mr Ajibade, who headed the state prosecution team, could not explain the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Adikwu.
He stated that the police were yet to provide the state prosecution with the evidence and circumstances of the death of the suspect.
The Offa roberry became controversial after the police accused Senate President Bukola Saraki and Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of sponsoring the suspects.
The two top Kwara politicians denied the allegations.
Mr Saraki, who unlike Governor Ahmed enjoys no immunity from prosecution, was questioned by the police for his alleged role in the scandal.
During the controversy, the police moved the suspects to Abuja and refused to cooperate with Kwara authorities for their trial.
Wednesday's happening in court appears to show the police have now handed the suspects to the Kwara legal team for prosecution.
The police are also yet to prosecute Mr Saraki and have kept mum on his alleged role since saying further investigations were ongoing.