By Kayode Adeoti
The Kwara State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Kamaldeen Ajibade SAN has said the state government is not involved in the arraignment of five suspects in the Offa banks robbery incident that claimed lives of 30 persons including nine police officers.
In an exclusive chat with this medium, Ajibade faulted the arraignment stressing that 13 suspects were arrested in relation to the crime but only five of them were brought to the court.
He insisted that it was wrong to try the suspects without the case file.
“I don’t have any position on the matter until I see the case file. We’re not the one that arraigned them, if I’m to arraign them, I can’t take them to magistrate court because it lacks jurisdiction to try the matter.
“It is the police who took them there. The police never contacted me before they arraigned them. I have not been officially informed that the suspects are in Kwara yet because I’ve not seen the file. I’m not aware of the arraignment, that is my position and it has not changed.
Recall that National Pilot in it last week edition reported that five of the suspects were arraigned before an Ilorin Magistrate Court last Tuesday; a day after Ajibade accused the police of deliberate falsehood on claims that the trial of the accused was being delayed by the state government.
The suspects brought before the court on Tuesday were five; Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Salaudeen Azeez and Niyi Ogundiran.
It was observed that Michael Adikwu, the dismissed police constable who had earlier confessed to be the mastermind of the bloody operation was not in court during the arraignment.
The suspects were brought before Magistrate Bio Saliu on the offences of criminal conspiracy and armed robbery, contrary to section 6 (b) of the Armed robbery and firearms (Special Provision) Act Cap R11 LFN 2004 and culpable homicide punishable with death contrary to section 221 of Penal Code.
The police First Information Report (FIR) alleged that on 5th April 2018, a group of dare-devil armed bandits invaded the Offa community adding that the bandits killed nine serving police officers, looted the Offa Police Divisional Armoury and carted away 21 AK 47 rifles and other ammunition.
The FIR further stated that the robbers took to the street of the community shooting sporadically thereby killing 21 innocent Nigerians and were also alleged to have raided six (6) financial institutions; First Bank, Guarantee Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, Eco-Bank, Union Bank and Micro Finance Bank before leaving the town where they carted away huge sum of money.
The FIR noted that efforts of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) led by DCP Abba Kyari and other arms of the Force resulted in the arrest of the suspects and indicated that during the investigation the suspects confessed to have participated in the robbery while some of the weapons used were recovered from them.
The items recovered included; two AK 47 rifle, one Lexus RX 300 Jeep with reg. No (Kwara) 143 RM, one Mercedes-Benz compressor with reg. No LT 496 KJA and four phones belonging to victims of the incident. The FIR added that investigation is still going on to ensure the arrest of other suspects who are at large and to recover the stolen arms and ammunition, the looted money from the banks as well as unravelling the sponsors of the deadly attack.