Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, says Senate President Bukola Saraki was never cleared of his alleged complicity in the robbery in Offa, Kwara state.
Malami, alongside Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police, countered insinuations that the director of public prosecution (DPP) exonerated Saraki of any role in the robbery incident, as contained in its interim report regarding it.
According to The Nation, they spoke on Thursday in their separate counter affidavits in response to a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by some persons on behalf of Saraki before an FCT high court on Jabi.
The robbery, which took place on April 5, led to the death of 33 persons, including pregnant women and 12 police officers.
The police had alleged that suspects had “direct link” to Saraki and Abdulfatai Ahmed, governor of Kwara. Some of the suspects reportedly claimed that Saraki provided them with some of the exhibits used for the operation.
Both men have denied all of the allegations brought against them.
Mohammed UE, director, public prosecution of the federation, had in a letter to the IGP, said: “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. Hence, it is in our advice that further and thorough investigation in this regard be carried out.”
In their submissions on the fundamental rights suit, Malami, Idris and the Nigeria police force said it was “premature” for anyone to translate the DPP report to mean that Saraki and the governor had been exonerated, as an investigation is still ongoing on the case.
Speaking through their separate lawyers, they also said contrary to the claim of the applicants that the decision by the police to question Saraki in relation to the robbery was intended to blackmail him, he is being questioned because he was named by the arrested suspects.
The AGF in particular said that contrary to the applicants’ claim, the DPP report “as it affects Senator Bukola Saraki, revealed that further thorough investigation be made so as to ascertain whether the planning and the execution of the robbery attack of 5th April 2018 at Offa, Kwara State was carried out at his instance, knowledge or approval”.
He added: “The interim investigation report is not a conclusive investigation and does not put an end to the investigation of Senator Bukola Saraki, hence the investigation to ascertain direct or any possible link of Senator Bukola Saraki and the robbery incident is still on going.
“The interim investigation report does not in any way exonerate Senator Bukola Saraki from any further investigation. As a matter of fact, Senator Bukola Saraki has no immunity whatsoever from investigation, arrest, detention or prosecution where reasonable suspicion is established.
“Contrary to paragraphs 8, 14, 17 and 21 of the applicants’ affidavit, neither the position of Senator Bukola Saraki as the Nigerian Senate President nor his political portfolio is a barrier to any investigation by the 2nd and 3rd respondents (NPF and IGP) if he is suspected of having committed any crime.”
Credit : The Cable