By Kelvin Adegbenga
Since the invitation of the Inspector General of Police by the Senate on the 25th of April, 2018 through the Senate Clerk of the Federal Republic of Nigeria via a letter captioned “Invitation to brief the Senate on the poor treatment of Senator Dino Melaye over case that is in competent law court; and other killings across Nigeria” Many Nigerians have been in support and against the Senate likewise the Inspector General of Police including legal luminaries.
The Senate shot itself on the leg because even their rules stipulate that once a case is in court, you don’t interfere but the heading of the invitation letter to the IGP nailed them. The Inspector General of Police is in court already to know if he has the power to send a representative to represent him anytime he is invited on official purposes.
The recent invitation of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki by the Nigeria Police to clear his name as he has been indicted by arrested Offa Bank Robbery Suspects who claimed they work for Saraki as Political Thugs.
Nigerians are giving different interpretations to Saraki’s invitation to exonerate him or make the Police just vindictive. Now, let’s reason together. I read some disappointing positions maintained by some respected friends online about how the invited Senate President, Saraki couldn’t have participated in the murderous robbery incident in Offa town, Kwara State few weeks ago.
What is participation in a crime? Is participation limited to the activities at the scene of crime? Did Gen. Bisallah shoot a bullet in the murder of Gen. Murtala Mohammed, yet he was involved in the assassination.
A group carried out a Bank Robbery. They were caught and paraded; 22 of them, 5 members of the group say they have been political thugs to Senator Bukola Saraki since he was Kwara State Governor.
The boys arrested and who have equally confessed to the Offa robbery incident are known boys of the Senate President within Ilorin city. In fact, some of them are on the official payroll of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as Personal Staff of Dr. Bukola Saraki and reputed to be above law in Kwara State.
The weapons used for the robbery were bought by their leader, the vehicles used for the robbery were bought by the same leader. The State government helped the robbers to quickly change the registration of the vehicles used for the robbery and these alterations to the identities of the vehicles were carried out within the Kwara Government House.
Robbers usually have godfathers who share from the booties of robbery operations. Their shares might not necessarily be direct cash robbed, it could come in form of assassination of political opponents or business partners which are for the enjoyment of their godfathers. While the boys go away with cash and protection from the long arm of the law.
I read some argued that every political leader keeps thugs; is thuggery a social norm and must it be encouraged? If a political leader keeps thugs for the purposes to maim or assassinate and they go further to rob where a pregnant woman was killed, 9 Police officers murdered and other 23 Nigerians cut into pieces by the bullets, weapons and vehicles provided by this leader and you are postulating witch-hunt!
The only way out, even to exonerating Dr Bukola Saraki himself is via full investigations. I am shocked at the rate which some Nigerians are knocking the Police even when the Senate President, Bukola Saraki has agreed to honour the invitation of the Nigeria Police. By the way have you asked yourself; As desirable as the full investigation is, why has Senator Bukola Saraki been kicking against it? He used his position as Senate President to turn a personal issue into a national issue. He set up a Senate Committee to work on President Buhari to stop further investigations but President Buhari in his wisdom told the Senate Committee to allow the Police carry out her constitutional duties of investigation and prosecution.
That person who facilitates the escape of robbers and or prevents their arrest is a member. I am still looking into the reasons of the Kwara State Government in quickly changing the vehicle particulars of the Lexus Jeep used for the robbery.
If Saraki is innocent, the case will vanish once it no longer has political relevance.
On a final note, Nigerians must allow Police to carry out her constitutional duties rather than jumping into conclusion even when the indicted person has agreed to honour the invitation when extended to him. We must learn not to put the chart before the horse if really, we want Justice to prevail.
Kelvin Adegbenga is the National Coordinator of Integrity Youth Alliance. firstname.lastname@example.org