Offa Banks Robbery:  APC Youth leader, Shamsudeen Bada opens up on his arrest, 37 days of hell in police custody, release.


Police nab another Adikwu’s gang member in Oke-Oyi

…as community condemns artisans’ arrest

By Adebayo Olodan and Ahmed Ajikobi

For 37 days, Shamsudeen Bada who is the Youths Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Irepodun, Kwara State was in police custody after being implicated by Ibikunle Ogunleye, a prime suspect in the Offa banks robbery incident.

The suspect, popularly known as ‘Arrow’, had claimed Bada gave him a shirt which he allegedly wore to the scene of the crime, hence the police swooped on the latter but opted to release him two weeks ago after finding out he was innocent.

Recall that no fewer than 33 people including nine policemen were killed in the banks robbery of April 5, 2018.

The police have since then made several arrests in connection to the robbery incident, with suspects volunteering information that is helping the Abba Kyari- led Intelligence Response Team, IRT, burst the crime.

However, speaking on his ordeal, Bada who was former vice chairman, Irepodun Local Government, said he went through hell while in police custody.

The youthful politician, who claimed to have never faced police interrogation not to talk of being put in custody for that long, described his ordeal as a price he had to pay as a leader.

He revealed that as a result of the torture by the police he has temporarily lost the use of his two hand, while his health has deteriorated greatly, which requires he travel abroad for treatment.

“I have never in my life gone through such traumatic experience and I will never forget the horrid experience for the rest of my life. I had some health challenges before my release and even now. Following my release, I was on admission at an Abuja hospital for about nine days and even as I speak my two hands are gone. I am under a physiotherapist care to regain the use of my hands.

 “Plans are underway for me to embark on a medical trip abroad to get the treatment I need for restoration of my health. I can’t wait to regain the use of my hands because I am never one who loved to be idle, so plans are in top gear to ensure I travel abroad soon,” he divulged.

On how his ordeal begun, Bada narrated, “Basically it wasn’t an arrest because they (police) impounded my car and drove it to Ilorin with two of my brothers on a Sunday, so I decided that I should go to the police to find out what was going on.

“The following morning at about 10am, I went to the police headquarters and on getting there, I was told I am a suspect and when I asked how, they said somebody (Ibikunle Ogunleye) mentioned my name that I gave him a shirt.

“They told him to repeat what he said in my presence, initially he refused, but he later said I gave him a shirt and when I asked what kind of shirt and what was the shirt meant for? He now said he wore it to the scene of Offa banks robbery, I said he should show me the shirt and the police showed me the shirt through a picture and when you look at the person in question, he is bigger in stature than me, so from there, the police started having a doubt.

“Ever since I was born, I have never been involved in any crime or criminality; it was so unfortunate that the suspect (Ibikunle) tried to implicate me.    He later confessed to the police that he was trying to rope me in order to get a soft landing and the police later informed me that from their investigation they discovered I am innocent.

He, however, said he owed his eventual freedom to God for divine intervention as he was exonerated of the allegations leveled against him.

“After I was exonerated, they again came up with the issue of cultism and I stated it clearly to them that I am not a cultist and can never be one. I am well known and from a reputable family and community, so I told them I don’t need such (cultism). When the police now investigated that too, they discovered that I was innocent and that was what informed my release.

“When I was finally cleared of the cases by DCP, Abba Kyari, I rolled on the ground singing the praise of God in the presence of policemen.

“I celebrated my freedom like that because it was another chapter in my life, a chapter which is strange to me and one that I have never experienced,” he added.

The politician pledged his unalloyed loyalty to the Senate President and leader of APC, Dr. Bukola Saraki, saying nothing can deter him from being his loyalist.

Bada however appreciated everyone who showed solidarity while he was in custody.

The rate at which people stood by me is awesome. The first day that I had access to my phone, I saw over 6,000 postings on the social media in my support and another 1, 400 text messages. I was overwhelmed by the solidarity and I can’t thank everyone enough.”

Meanwhile, there was wild jubilation in Oro, home town of Bada over his return after spending weeks in police custody.

A special thanksgiving was organised in his honour at the Oke- Ola Central Mosque, Oro on Friday, with over 2,000 people cutting across various trades, political parties, traditional council, religious groups, commercial motorcyclists and academics, in attendance.

Speaking, the Chief Imam of Oro, Alhaji Taofeek Sanusi who led the prayer appreciated Allah that Bada was exonerated.

The cleric however prayed that Oro community will suffer no similar occurrence in the future.

In the same vein, the leader of the Oloro delegation, Chief Raphael Babatunde who is the Shao of Oro, said, “On behalf of the Oloro, Oba Rafiu Ajiboye Oyelaran II, we are glad that our son, Shamsudeen who was wrongly implicated in an ugly incident and taken to police custody has been released.

In his remarks, the President, Oro Descendants Union(ODU), Alhaji Usman Tunji Balogun described Bada as one of the outstanding sons of the community adding that the latter has continued to use his influence to impact on the people of Oro without boundaries.

Similarly, the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Oro Ward 2, Hon Lolade Fadahunsi who led a delegation of his party said the younger Bada’s leadership transcends politics.

“I have known Shamsudeen Bada for a while and even though we belong to different political parties, our relationship remains cordial. Shamsudeen is one youth that is committed to the development of Oro and its people.”

Speaking, the APC Chairman, Oro Ward 2, Hon Bayo Saraki-Kolawole said members of the party organised prayers and fasted for the return of loyalist and leader adding that they were glad he was released at the end of it all.

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