news: Saraki tells IGP Idris to send officers to his office to question him over Offa robbery
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has written the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to explain why he won't honour the invitation of the police force to answer questions on alleged links to the Offa robbery incident.
Nine police officers and at least 24 others lost their lives when a group of around 30 armed robbers attacked Union Bank, Eco Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, First Bank, Zenith Bank and Ibolo Micro Finance Bank, as well as the Owode Police Station in Offa, Kwara State, on April 5, 2018.
The police force has invited Saraki for questioning after the the main gang leader involved in the Offa robbery named him as his gang's political sponsors.
In a letter, dated July 23, 2018, IGP Idris directed Saraki to report himself to the Intelligence Response Team office in Abuja on Tuesday, July 24. However, the senate president failed to show up, opting instead to preside over the day's session at the National Assembly complex.
In his reply, in a letter dated July 24, Saraki explained that he failed to show up because he was concerned about executing legislative duties at the National Assembly as security operatives had also prevented his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, from leaving his house on Tuesday morning.
The Senate President further told the IGP that Tuesday's incident with the police has left him concerned for his physical safety, and requested that investigators be sent to his office instead to question him.
He said, "For the record, I should mention that I received your letter at 8:30 pm on Monday 23rd July, 2018, inviting me for the next day at 8am. The two lawyers whose advise I needed were in Calabar and Lagos and have to travel to Abuja today.
"As you are aware, the deputy president of the senate was unable to leave his residence this morning to preside over the senate having been prevented from doing so by security agents. If he had been able to preside over the senate, I would have honoured your invitation.
"The absence of both presiding officers would have voided the sitting of the senate. This would have been damaging to national interest, particularly in the light of very important legislative matters that needed to be be addressed in view of the imminent recess of the national assembly.
"These included consideration of the electoral bill which was incidentally passed today. You will recall that Mr President had earlier directed as a courtesy to this office that in the event of any request for further information from me, you should either send your personnel to my office or obtain a written response from me.
"I need to place on record as well, that following the incident of being harassed and threatened at my residence by the police early this morning, I'm deeply concerned over my physical security.
"I request you therefore, to please assign your personnel who need information on this matter to meet me in my office immediately plenary, today or tomorrow or at any other day at your convenience."
On Tuesday, Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Jimoh Moshood, had warned the senate president to report to the police force as soon as possible before it is compelled to use all the instruments of the law to ensure compliance.
While appearing on Channels Television on Wednesday, July 25, DCP Moshood also said the force has enough to charge the senate president to court with the amount of evidence available. He said the force will not hesitate to see to the prevalence of the rule of law.