Police ‘didn’t block Saraki’s house’
A very lawful means will be used to compel Senate President Bukola Saraki to appear before the Police investigative team to defend his integrity over the Offa robberies, the police said yesterday.
The suspects in the robberies in which 31 people, including nine policemen were killed, confessed to the Police that they were political thugs being used by the Senate president.
The police asked Saraki to report at 8am yesterday to clear the air on his alleged links with the boys but he did not show up. But the Senate president said his residence was barricaded by policemen yesterday. The police authorities denied any involvement.
According to the police, the officers seen in social media pictures in front Saraki’s house were personnel attached to him as security aides.
A statement by Police spokesman Jimoh Moshood said: “The Nigeria Police Force on the 23rd of July, 2018 invited Sen. Bukola Saraki, President of the Senate, to report to the head of investigation team at the Intelligence Response Team office at Guzape junction, Asokoro Extension, Abuja today, 24th of July, 2018 at 8am for further investigation on his indictment from confessional statements from some of the five gang leaders arrested for their active participation in the Offa bank robbery and gruesome murder of more than 31 persons and snatching of 21 AK47 rifles on the 5th of April, 2018.
“But the Senate President refused to honour police invitation as at the time of this press release. The Force therefore, insists that the Senate President, Sen. Bukola Saraki, President of the Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria is being expected to report to the head of investigation team at the Intelligence Response Team office at Guzape junction, Asokoro Extension, Abuja and should honour the invitation, otherwise the Force will not hesitate to use all the instruments of the Law to ensure compliance with the law.”
On the allegation that his house was besieged, the police said: “The Nigeria Police Force’s attention was also drawn to the innuendos in the early hours of today that some police men were seen surrounding the residence of the Senate President; the Force wishes to categorically state that there was no authorised deployment of police personnel to besiege the residence of the Senate president or his deputy as reported in the media.
“The police personnel seen in pictures in the media were those in the convoy of the Senate president and others attached to him.”
Moshood also stated that the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) has directed a thorough investigation to ascertain the facts in the episode adding that the Force would not allow the end of justice to be perverted by the distraction.
The Force also assured that it would ensure that the rule of law prevailed in the matter.
Scores of gun-wielding policemen waited for Saraki yesterday morning but the Senate president did not show up.
The usually tight security arrangements necessitated by the holding of high profile terrorism, armed robbery, kidnapping and cattle rustling suspects was further tightened on Tuesday as about 30 armed policemen took positions around the offices and on the other sides of the road.
At exactly 8am, a Toyota Hilux van with registration number NPF 8411 C brought 10 policemen who took positions outside the gates, close to the armed sentries who routinely guard the premises.
Seven minutes after, another police van marked NPF 9861 C brought three others and by 8.54am, six more armed men arrived to provide further security cover.
The premises housing the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) which tracks high profile criminal suspects and arrested Evans, the notorious kidnapper, also houses a separate building for the Federal SARS which is officially named Special Tactical Squad (STS).
About one week ago, IGP Idris inaugurated the office complex for the two units both of which he described as very instrumental to the successes achieved by the police under his watch.
Lagos lawyer Femi Falana said security agencies should not violate provisions of Section 37 of the Constitution in carrying out their investigation into criminal activities.
He said while Saraki and Ekweremadu were yet to respond to the invitation their official houses were subjected to nocturnal raid last night.
“No doubt, the federal government has the power to investigate any criminal offence whatsoever. But in carrying out their statutory functions all security and anti graft agencies have to be made to operate within the ambit of the law”, he said.