Saraki, group demand inquiry into death of Offa robbery principal suspect
Says he has been vindicated
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 Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has urged the presidency to investigate ‘how and when’ the suspect died.
In a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki said the disclosure had vindicated his earlier claim that the suspect had been murdered in police custody and that the investigation was politically motivated to implicate him (Senate president), Governor Abdulfatai Ahmed and a few others.
According to him, the inquiry would help to thoroughly examine how the investigation into the robbery was conducted by the police, to show whether it followed the normal process and complied with global best practices. Saraki said the police needed to confirm why it took them so long to make the disclosure about the death of the principal suspect after they categorically denied it at the time he (Saraki) disclosed the information and it was reported in the media.
“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.’
“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 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.
“It is obvious that the police have orchestrated the information they give to the public on the Offa robbery only to tarnish the image of the Kwara State governor and myself. We are calling for a public inquiry to probe the issues of extra-judicial killing, the cover-up of this killing with the aim of framing up some individuals for political purpose and politicizing of criminal investigations. The facts need to be laid bare.. We should discourage situations where police politicize investigations and deliberately set out to frame some individuals.”
Also, a group, NOPRIN, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently launch an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Adikwu in police custody.The group, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Okechukwu Nwanguma, declared that the police should be made to account fully for the cash and other exhibits recovered from Adikwu.
“Now that the police have eventually admitted that Adikwu is dead, and considering the widespread suspicion that the police may have murdered him, NOPRIN calls on President Buhari, who is the operational head of the police, to order an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Adikwu’s suspicious death in police custody.”