By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
ABUJA—Real reasons the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, cleared the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Kwara State Governor, Abdulfata Ahmed, and his Chief of Staff, Yusuf Abdulwahab, of any complicity in the April 5, 2018, robbery in Offa, which claimed no fewer than 31 lives, were hinged on lack of concrete evidence to nail the suspects, Vanguard can authoritatively reveal.
Vanguard, which sighted the case file last night, observed that in all the investigation activities, which the police high command claimed to have carried out in respect of the crime, the investigators failed to establish how and when the three top government officials aided and abetted the suspects to carry out the attack, which also drained nine banks of huge cash deposits.
Similarly, the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, which was asked to give a legal opinion on the robbery incident and subsequently take over the prosecution of the case, is said to have been hamstrung by the clear legal position that the robbery was a state matter, having been meticulously planned and executed in Offa, Kwara State, and not the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
In preparing its legal brief to the Inspector General of Police, after reviewing two investigation briefs carried out by the police, the AGF drew the attention of the IGP to the fact that the submission did not establish any prima facie evidence that could enable the government to nail Saraki, Ahmed and Abdulwahab along with the prime robbery suspects in court.
Part of the legal advice sighted by Vanguard read: “That from the totality of the evidence contained in the interim investigation report, there is no evidence linking Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki and the Governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatai Ahmed Megida to the commission of the offence of armed robbery, aiding or abetting, accessory before or after the fact under investigation.
“It is therefore the opinion of this office that there is no prospect for prosecution on the offences of aiding or abetting, accessory before or after fact in which a reasonable court can convict based on the available evidence with respect to Senator Bukola Saraki and the Governor of Kwara State, Fatai Ahmed Megida.
“There must be evidence which identifies the accused to the crime or with the crime. This was illustrated in the case of DELE GABRIEL VS. THE STATE (2010) 6 NWLR (PT 2290) 280 @ 295 H.20 where it was stated that: “Conviction can only be based on proof beyond reasonable doubt and not on suspicion or speculation.”
“From the above position of law, suspicion no matter how strong can never take the place of credible evidence in proof of allegation,” the AGF said.
AGF orders Police to retrieve stolen cash, weapons used for robbery
In particular, the OAGF noted that it would be in the interest of the case for the police to go back to the drawing board by taking steps to retrieve the huge cash, which the robbery mastermind, Michael Adikwu, and his gang, are said to have carted away from the nine banks and the weapons, including the 21 AK-47 rifles, which they used in executing the robbery to serve as evidence in court.
...charges gov’s PA for illegal possession of firearms
However, the AGF said it had sufficient reasons to charge the Personal Assistant to the Governor of Kwara State, Alabi Olalekan, to court, in relation to robbery.
He is accused of possessing a firearm, a federal offence that can be prosecuted by the OAGF, which has already begun the process to nail him.
Consequently, the Justice Ministry has filed three-count charge against the suspect and the case is coming up this week at the Federal High Court, Ilorin, Kwara State.