The Nigeria Police has vowed to undertake a comprehensive investigation of recent killings in Kwara State, not minding whose ox is gored. The Police made the declaration in response to an alarm raised by President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, to the effect that the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, was plotting to frame him up.
Saraki had, during plenary yesterday, informed his colleagues of an orchestrated plan to implicate him and the Kwara State government in the violent cult clashes that assaulted the state recently.
The Senate President had said that already, the IGP had directed the Commissioner of Police in charge of Kwara State Command, to transfer some suspected cultists arrested by operatives to Abuja, ostensibly to force them to re-write their statements. But, the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), ACP Jimoh Moshood, in a statement, described the allegation as “a ruse, unfortunate and an attempt to divert Police investigation.”
Moshood explained that the subject matter of investigation concerned the killing of 11 persons by a killer squad which operates under the guise of a cult group. While not denying plans to transfer the suspects to Abuja, the FPRO maintained that it was standard practice in the force, to move suspects in high-profile cases to the Force Headquarters, for thorough investigations.
Consequently, Moshood said it will not leave any stone unturned in its efforts at serving the course of justice. This was as he expressed fears that the claim by the Senate President could dissuade victims’ family members from presenting evidence on the killings. His words: “The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to press statement credited to the Senate President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON of “Plot against him by IGP”.
“The Nigeria Police Force is shocked at the unbelievable claims, unverifiable allegations and unfounded accusations being peddled against the IGP by the Senate President, accusing the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, of plot and strategies against him to settle scores.
The Force, therefore, wishes to categorically state that there is no iota of truth in the allegation and false assertion by the Senate President of plot against him by the IGP to implicate the Kwara State Government and the Senate President in any criminal matter. Until investigation is concluded, any person(s) or group(s) who tries to interfere in the investigation process by action or utterances is committing an offence,” Moshood said.
Giving a background to the case, he said the Kwara State Police Command, on the 11th of May 2018, arrested and paraded the suspected cultists, whose names he listed as follows: Abolaji Safti Ojulari, Lanre Mohammed Soliu, Azeez Moyaki, Suleiman Babatunde Yusuf Habeeb, and Umar Yahaya.
According to Moshood, “The suspects admitted and confessed before the press and the public to have killed 11 innocent persons in Kwara State and other states of the country.
The victims, according to the suspects, were targeted and killed on the instructions of their sponsors. “Consequent upon the public confessions of this vicious and notorious killer squad to the killings in cold blood of more than 11 innocent people in Kwara State and other states of the Federation, the statutory procedure and practice in the Force is that such a heinous crime and capital offence is transferred to the Force Headquarters for further investigation.
This is to enable a thorough and discreet investigation into the crime.
“However, it is pertinent to state that, there is no vested interest by the IGP in the ongoing investigation into the several murders committed by this killer gang, other than ensuring that justice prevails in the matter. Nobody, no matter how highly placed, would be allowed to interfere or obstruct Police investigation to pervert the course of justice.
“Therefore, transferring this hired assassin gang masquerading as cultists in Kwara State to Force Headquarters, Abuja for further investigation is in accordance with Police investigation procedures.”
He concluded by saying that: “The Nigeria Police Force hereby implores members of the general public to disregard and discountenance the claim of plot by the IGP against the Senate President as a ruse, unfortunate and an attempt to divert police investigation into the killings of more than 11 innocent people from Kwara State and other states of the Federation in the recent past by the killer squad which operate under the guise of a cult group.
“The Force will leave no stone unturned and will do everything within the ambit of the law to ensure justice in this matter, no matter whose ox is gored.”