The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Wednesday explained why he did not have to go to the Guzape Police Station in Abuja to respond to police’s enquiries over alleged links to the April robbery incident in Offa, Kwara State.
Saraki said he had responded formally in writing to all the questions and issues raised by the police invitation letter same Tuesday hence there was no need for him to appear personally at the police station.
The police had invited the Senate president to its Guzape station on Monday, warning on Tuesday that if he failed to honour the invitation, he might be compelled to report.
But the Senate president in a statement by his media adviser, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu, said his response to the police invitation, which was dispatched on Tuesday was duly acknowledged.
According to him, all the issues and questions raised in the police invitation letter were answered, and sent to the police authorities on Tuesday.
He noted that after answering all the questions raised by the police in his letter, he did not think there was any need for him to go to the police personally.
The Senate president added that his letter to the police was self-explanatory hence there was no need for him to go personally to the police for the same issue.
The Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, had on Monday invited Saraki to appear before the Police Special Anti-Robbery Unit in Guzape police station to answer questions over his alleged involvement in the Offa robbery incident.
Saraki had stated in an earlier response on Monday that the invitation to him by the police to report to a station in Guzape over the Offa robbery investigation was “a mere afterthought, which is designed to achieve political purpose”.
He had stated then that he had it on good authority that the police had already decided on the suspects to arraign in court in Ilorin, Kwara State Wednesday based on the advice of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mohammed U.E., and that the turnaround to invite him was a ploy aimed at scoring cheap political points.
According to him, “I have been reliably informed that the police invitation was planned by IG as a ploy to stop an alleged plan by some senators and House of Representatives members from defecting from the All Progressives Congress (APC). It was also said that if I was detained between Tuesday and Wednesday, that will abort the so-called defection plan.
“While I continue to maintain that the issue of my position on the 2019 elections is not a personal decision for me alone to make, it should be noted that all these concoctions and evil plot cannot deter me. Those behind this fresh assault will fail as I have nothing to do with the robbery incident or any criminal matter for that matter.
“I am aware that following a request made by the police on June 13, 2018 to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) of the Federation had written a legal advice dated June 22, 2018, in which he stated on page 5, paragraph (f) that For the Senate President and the Kwara State Governor, this office is unable to establish from the evidence in the interim report a nexus between the alleged offence and the suspects.
“The police have obviously corrupted and politicised their investigations into the Offa robbery incident. They have turned it into an instrument for the party in power to suppress perceived opponents, witch-hunt issue for blackmailing people from freely choosing which platform on which they want to pursue their ambition and a matter for harassing the people whose exit from APC would harm the chances of the party in the forthcoming elections.
“I want to make it apparent that I have no hand in either the robbery incident or any criminal acitivity. The police in their haste to embarrass me sent the invitation to me at 8p.m. and requested that I report to the station by 8a.m. tomorrow morning. This obviously demonstrated their desperation as I do not see why they are now in a hurry.
“They also stated in today’s letter that because in my response of June 7, 2018 to their own letter written on June 4, 2018, I stated that I was responding simply to the contents of the letter and that the full text of the statement made by the arrested suspects which they claimed indicted me was not made available to me, they were now including the suspects’ statements in the current letter. Yet, instead of including the suspects’ statements, they only attached two copies of my own letter to the invitation. No suspect statement was made available.
“This plot aimed at compelling me and my associates to stay in a party where members are criminalised without just cause, where injustice is perpetrated at the highest level and where there is no respect for constitutionalism is an exercise in futility and it will fail.”
We Will Apply the Law, Insist Police
But the police insisted Wednesday that it would take appropriate measures to compel the Senate president to appear before it.
The Force Public Relations Officer (PRO), Jimoh Moshood, who would not confirm Saraki’s claim that he had responded to the police’s queries in writing, told THISDAY that the force’s earlier position on the matter subsisted.
“We have already said that police will take appropriate actions within the ambit of the law. We still stand on our earlier statement,” he said.
When asked what the police would do if Saraki failed to comply as it was over 48 hours since their ultimatum expired, he said the message was clear enough as they would “take appropriate actions within the ambit of the law”.