Senate President Bukola Saraki has called for an inquiry into the death of Michael Adikwu, the principal suspect in the Offa robbery incident.
TheCable had reported that Adikwu may have died in police custody after his name was missing in the list of suspects.
Kamaldeen Ajibade, Kwara commissioner of justice, confirmed his death on Wednesday. He made the disclosure during the arraignment of five suspects connected to the heist at a Kwara high court.
Over 20 persons were killed in April when the robbers raided some banks in Offa.
In a statement, Yusuph Olaniyonu, special adviser to the senate president, quoted Saraki as saying that the disclosure has vindicated his claim that Adikwu had been murdered.
Saraki said the development explains why “there had been inconsistencies in the various statements by the police”.
The statement read in part: “It should be recalled that when we mentioned it that the principal suspect had been murdered and that investigation into the Offa robbery attack was politically motivated and targeted at implicating me and other individuals, the police public relations officer, Moshood Jimoh said: ‘Michael Adikwu is in police custody’.
“The fresh facts have now thrown more light into why there had been inconsistencies in the various statements by the police. The police initially told the attorney-general of Kwara state that the principal suspect was alive and they only later reluctantly disclosed that he died in the course of arrest.
“How can a suspect confirmed to be in custody now be said to have died in the course of arrest? This contradiction shows a deliberate attempt to cover up something.
“It is obvious that the police have orchestrated the information they give to the public on the Offa robbery only to tarnish the image of the Kwara state governor and myself. We are calling for a public inquiry to probe the issues of extra-judicial killing, the cover-up of this killing with the aim of framing up some individuals for political purpose and politicising of criminal investigations. The facts need to be laid bare.
“The inquiry may help to further document and define the terms of handling of suspects in police custody and how to prevent extra-judicial killing of suspects, for whatever purpose.
“With the facts on ground, the issues that should be unearthed by the inquiry include: When exactly did the suspect die? How did he die? Why was the police denying the facts of his death when they knew he had died? At what point did the Police leadership knew of the death? Why are the police covering up the facts?”
Saraki also called for a diligent and prompt prosecution of the suspects so “that justice can be transparently done to both the victims of the Offa robbery and the accused persons”.
The senate president had been invited by the police over the matter but he was later asked to give his statement in writing.
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