President Muhammadu Buhari has given the police the green light to arrest Senate President Bukola Saraki over a string of murder cases in Kwara State, according to a report in PT, an Online publication.
According to the report, the president received Inspector-General Ibrahim Idris at the State House on Friday afternoon, during which he was told of at least 20 murders allegedly linked to Saraki in his home state.
Sources in the presidency told the publication that the police chief arrived at the State House with a cornucopia of homicide investigation documents relating to Saraki. The top lawmaker could be arrested any day from now following the president’s position that the law should run its course insofar as detectives have sufficient facts to file charges.
Already, the police have declared Saraki a person of interest in the deadly robbery incident in Offa, the second-largest settlement in Kwara State. The police said at least 17 persons, including nine police officers, were killed and five banks raided in the April 5 attack.
The police said the death toll from the robbery has risen steadily to 33 as at last week. Twenty 22 suspects, including a dismissed police sergeant, have been announced arrested.
Saraki was amongst the first set of leaders to condemn the attack and called for a sweeping investigation and prosecution of all suspects.
In a statement on Sunday, police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, said at least five of the suspects arrested in the robbery “admitted and confessed to have been sponsored with firearms, money and operational vehicles” by Saraki and Abdulfatah Ahmed, the state governor.
While parading the suspects on Sunday afternoon, Moshood identified one of them as Ayoade Akinnibosun, a 37 years old resident of the state and the ‘overall’ leader of the armed gang. His vehicle was allegedly one of those used in the robbery. A number plate allegedly registered in Akinnibosun’s name superimposed on a sticker number plate which had ‘SARAKI’ boldly written on it.
Amongst top Kwara government officials named in the robbery were Yusuf Abdulwahab, the chief of staff to the governor, and the environment commissioner.
The police said Abdulwahab, 58, had been taken into custody, but it was not immediately clear whether it was in connection to the robbery. Some local news reports out of Kwara said Abdulwahab was arrested on fraud charges unrelated to the robbery two days ago.
Sakari has been asked to turn himself in at the police intelligence department in Guzape, Abuja. No date was specified for the summon. The Senate President could be arrested if he fails to turn himself in as demanded by the police, especially as he enjoys no immunity from prosecution.
The Senate President, has, however, denied any link with the Offa robbers, describing the police claim as an attempt to tarnish his image.