A dismissed police constable, who is a principal suspect in the Offa bank robbery, Michael Adikwu, is dead.
Kwara State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Kamaldeen Ajibade (SAN), disclosed this at a Kwara State High Court on Wednesday when five of the six suspects were brought to court for arraignment.
The five suspects brought before the court were Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Salaudeen Azeez and Niyi Ogundiran.
However, Michael Adikwu, who was said to have confessed to being the mastermind of the bloody operation, was not in court during the arraignment.
No fewer than 32 people were killed in the robbery operation that affected five commercial banks on April 5, 2018.
When the case came up, Ajibade who disclosed that his office received the case file of the robbery operation on Monday evening said the head of police investigation team, Mr Abba Kyari, informed him that Adikwu was dead.
He also said the police had yet to give details on the death of the suspect and that the five suspects brought to court would not be charged until an amendment was made to the charge sheet.
He said, “We have the names of six suspects on our charge sheet but they brought five suspects; we cannot go on with the case until we amend the charges because we cannot prosecute a dead person.
The attorney general also said the case could not go on because the suspects had no legal representation.
He urged the court to adjourn the case for the charges to be amended and for the suspects to get legal representation.
Recall that two lawyers representing the suspects announced their withdrawal from the case last week.
However, the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has asked the presidency to probe the death of the principal suspect in the deadly bank robbery attacks in Offa, Kwara State, on April 5, Michael Adikwu.
Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, also noted that the police disclosure of Adikwu’s death, has vindicated his earlier claim that the suspect had been murdered in police custody.
He also said that the police investigation was politically motivated to implicate him (Saraki), Kwara Governor Abdulfatai Ahmed, and a few others.
He stated that the inquiry would help to thoroughly examine and interrogate how the investigation into the robbery incident was conducted by the police.
He said, “When we mentioned it that the principal suspect had been murdered, the Police Public Relations Officer, Moshood Jimoh, said Michael Adikwu is in Police custody.
“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 gave 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 politicizing of criminal investigations. The facts need to be laid bare.