By Ajogwu Jerry
The Nigeria Police Force has been accused of misleading Nigerians as regards the arrest of suspected cultists in Kwara state
This was the resolution of All Progressives Congress (APC) members from Kwara state in the House of Representatives.
The lawmakers in a statement signed by their leader, Honourable Razak Atunwaare of the opinion that the police are involved in an improper conduct with the aim of falsely incriminating innocent people.
The APC caucus from Kwara state in the House of Representatives had chided the NPF for its recent actions regarding the arrest of suspected cultists in their home state.
The caucus was reacting to the alarm raised by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, at the Senate plenary yesterday in which he disclosed the plot by the Inspector General of Police to falsely implicate him by linking him to the suspected cultists arrested in Kwara state.
Part of the statement read:
“As key stakeholders in Kwara state who are also familiar with the developments in our constituencies, it is necessary for us to let Nigerians know our view on the matter. It seems to us that the IGP is standing facts on the head. We hereby state the facts of the matter and we invite everyone to independently verify them.
“We are aware that the suspects listed by the IGP, all of whom are now in Abuja, were arrested on 5 May 2018 for the offences of criminal conspiracy and culpable hom*cide. After the completion of investigations, the police addressed a press conference on 10 May 2018.
“During the press conference, the police emphasized the fact that it was ready to arraign the suspects in court. The suspects were formally arraigned on 15 May 2018. Due to the absence of the prosecutor, the court directed the police to bring them back to court the following day.
“On 16 May 2018, rather than bring the suspects to court, the police decided to take them to Abuja without any reference to the court. What is logically deductible from the narrative above is that there is no on-going investigation by the police on the case involving the suspects. Therefore, the claim by the IGP that the statement by the Senate President could jeopardize investigation is totally false.
“The critical question to be asked is why would the IGP suddenly order suspects who were set to be arraigned in court to be taken to Abuja without deference to the court that is seized of the case? Does that not portend an ulterior and sinister motive? It is most curious that the IGP would be so suddenly interested in an investigation that he was prepared to truncate on-going criminal proceedings.”
The group said the Senate President was right to be concerned about the sudden turn of events, “given the information he received from the state governor who is the state chief security officer.”
They noted that under Dr. Saraki’s tenure as governor of Kwara, the state enacted a strong anti-cultism law under which so many accused persons had been jailed by past and present governments.
“We agree that the IGP is free to conduct investigations and diligently pursue the prosecution of offenders. We believe those who have committed crimes must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
“However, the police should not engage in improper conduct with the aim of falsely incriminating innocent people. We are not unmindful of the recent rift between the Senate and the IGP. Any attempt by the police to falsely incriminate the Senate President in order to settle scores will be reprehensible conduct which would be resisted by all legal and lawful means,” they said.
“The Inspector General of Police should stop playing politics with law enforcement work. He needs to work with all stakeholders to succeed and therefore should stop encouraging the “We” versus “Them” campaign now going on across the country about police duties and activities,” they said.