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Offa Robbery: AGF Malami clears Saraki, says police lack evidence against Senate President

Nigeria's Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami, has told the police that there was no evidence that linked Senate President Bukola Saraki and Kwara State Governor Abdulfattah Ahmed to the armed robbery attack that left 31 persons dead in Offa, Kwara State, in April,

Mr Malami advised in a June 22 letter to the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, that the police would need to ramp up their investigation and also painstakingly explore all critical areas before identifying the Senate President as a suspect in the carnage, much less filing charges against him.

Yusuf Abdulwahab, Mr Ahmed's chief of staff who was amongst state officials arrested for allegedly conspiring with the prime suspects, was also cleared, with the prosecutor saying "no evidence is credible enough to sustain any charge based on any offence known to law against him."

The attorney-general's office said only six prime suspects should be charged to court for armed robbery and murder which could draw capital punishment upon conviction. Olalekan Alabi, a personal assistant to Mr Ahmed, was also recommended for trial, but only on lesser charges of illegal possession of arms.

Mr Saraki hinted at the existence of the letter on Monday night as part of a fierce response to Mr Idris' latest summon to him. The Senate President said the invitation, which he was asked to honour by 8:00 a.m. today, was unnecessary because the Director of Public Prosecutions had already informed the police that there were no sufficient bases to keep dragging him into the armed robbery investigation.

"I am aware that following a request made by the Police on June 13, 2018 to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) of the Federation had written a legal advice dated June 22, 2018, in which he stated on page 5, paragraph (f) that "For the Senate President and the Kwara State Governor, this office is unable to establish from the evidence in the interim report a nexus between the alleged office and the suspects," Mr Saraki said in the Monday night statement.

At least five banks were raided and substantial amount of cash carted away when armed robbers stormed the polytechnic town on April 5. The police initially said 17 people were killed in the attack, including nine police officers, but continued to revise the figure upwards, apparently as some of those receiving treatments for critical wounds were passing on.

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