The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Sunday declared that he was willing to honour the invitation of the police, once he formally receives it.
Mr Saraki also denied that he has any links to any of the robbery suspects arrested for their roles in the Offa bank robbery. The robbery caused the death of about 33 people including police officers.
The Nigeria Police earlier on Sunday said some of the arrested Offa robbery suspects confessed that Mr Saraki and Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, were their sponsors.
PREMIUM TIMES earlier published Mr Ahmed’s denial of any links to the arrested suspects.
Sources at the Presidential Villa also told PREMIUM TIMES Mr Idris got President Muhammadu Buhari’s nod to arrest Mr Saraki on Friday after the police chief presented evidence of the senate president’s ‘culpability’ to the president.
Presidential and police spokespersons have refused to speak on Friday’s meeting held before the Jumaat service.
In his statement Sunday night signed by his spokesperson, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Mr Saraki said being linked to the Offa robbery suspects is a plot “concocted to embarrass” him.
Read Mr Saraki’s full statement below.
The attention of the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has been drawn to a story circulating online and apparently derived from a Press Conference addressed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Moshood Jimoh, linking him (Saraki) to the Offa robbery.
Dr. Saraki will want the entire public to disregard this claim as a baseless allegation and another ploy by the Police to implicate him by all means. “Let it be known that there is no way I could have been associated with armed robbery against my people.”
“When the Offa robbery incident happened, I was the first top public official to pay a visit to the place and right there in the palace of the traditional ruler, I put a call through to this same Mr. Ibrahim Idris, the IGP, requesting him to make certain specific security arrangements as demanded by the people.
“Members of the public will remember that on May 16, 2018, I alerted the Senate about the information passed on to me by my State Governor, Dr. Abdulfatai Ahmed, over a plot by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to frame me up by getting some suspected cultists arrested in Ilorin to implicate me. It is believed that the timely leakage of the plot in that case aborted the use of the suspected cultists to implicate me. Now, it is the Offa bank robbery suspects that are about to be used.
“This plot is concocted to embarrass me and, in the mind of the IGP, it is his own response after his refusal to honour the invitation by the National Assembly, headed me, for him to come and offer explanations on the rampant killings and violence across the country.
“Like the earlier one, this frame-up will also fail as I hereby state categorically that I have no link with any band of criminals.
“As a person who has utmost respect for the rule of law and all constitutional institutions, when the invitation from the Police is formally extended to me, I will be ready to honour it without any delay.
“It is however sad that this abuse of the criminal investigation process aimed at intimidating and over-overawing the legislature, thereby obstructing it from doing its work, is a big threat to our democracy “, the Senate President stated.