An Abuja high court has ordered the Nigerian Police to suspend arrest and questioning of the Senate President Bukola Saraki over Offa Bank robbery.
Some arrested suspects of the bank robbery that led to killings of over 30 people in Offa, Kwara State, earlier this year indicted Saraki as their sponsor.
The Senate President has been summoned several times by the Nigeria Police Force for interrogation and questioning over the April 5 offa robbery attack.
A motion dated July 30 was submitted by 10 layers, requesting the court to restrain the police or their agents from arresting, interrogating, harassing or attempting to detain Mr Saraki or infringe upon what they called his fundamental rights.
“The respondents are directed to stay all further actions related to the suit, pending the determination of the originating motion, which is hereby fixed for hearing on August 16,” the court ruled
The presiding Judge, M. A. Nasir, ordered the police to suspend further action on issues relating to the suit pending the determination of the substantive matter on August 16.
Police spokesman Jimoh Moshood said in June that the gang leaders “have a direct link” to Saraki, pointing to a picture of one of the five gang leaders wearing a cloth used during the wedding is the Senate President.
The claims came a day after the National Assembly passed a vote of no confidence on the inspector-general of police Ibrahim Idris, whom the Nigerian Senate described last month as an “enemy of democracy, unfit to hold any public office within and outside Nigeria.”
On his part, Saraki insisted he had nothing to do with the crime. He said he was a victim of Inspector-General of Police’s plan to frame him up.
“Let it be known that there is no way I could have been associated with armed robbery against my people,” Saraki said.
“When the Offa robbery incident happened, I was the first top public official to pay a visit to the place and right there in the palace of the traditional ruler, I put a call through to this same Mr Ibrahim Idris, the IGP (Inspector General of police), requesting him to make certain specific security arrangements as demanded by the people,” he added.
Moshood insisted that the gang leaders confessed to working for Saraki as “political thugs under the name Youth Liberation Movement a.k.a. ‘Good Boys’.”
They also “admitted and confessed to have been sponsored with firearms, money and operational vehicles by the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki and the Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed.”