Three of the gunmen that killed 33 people during the robbery operation in Offa, Kwara, in April were back in the town on a condolence visit just two days later.
This was disclosed by Force Public Relations Officer, ACPJimoh Moshood, when he paraded some of the arrested suspects on Wednesday, June 6, 2018.
Nine police officers and 24 others lost their lives when a group of around 30 armed robbers attacked Union Bank, Eco Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, First Bank, Zenith Bank and Ibolo Micro Finance Bank,as well as the Owode Police Stationin Offa on April 5, 2018.
When 15 of the suspects were previously paraded on Sunday, June 3, ACP Moshood named the leaders of the robbery gang as Ayodele Akinnibosun (aka, AY), Ibikunle Ogunleye (aka Arrow), Adeola Abraham, Salawudeen Azeez, and Niyi Ogundiran, all indigenes of Oro, Irepodun local government area of Kwara.
During the press briefing Akinnibosun, who confessed to being the mastermind of the operation, said he was the leader of Youth Liberation Movement a.k.a "Good Boys", a group of political thugs allegedly sponsored by Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Kwara governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed.
While speaking at the Wednesday press briefing, ACP Moshood said investigations have revealed that Akinnibosun, Ogunleye, and Abraham followed Saraki to the palace of the Olofa of Offa, HRM Oba Muftau Gbadamosi Esuwoye II, when the senate president paid a condolence visit to the monarch just two days after the tragic loss of lives.
He said, "It was also discovered during further investigations that three (3) gang leaders who participated actively in the Offa bank robbery (i) Ayoade Akinnibosun aka AY (ii) Ibukunle Ogunleye aka Arrow and (iii) Adeola Abraham followed the Senate President, Sen. Bukola Saraki to Oloffa's palace when the Senate President paid a condolence visit to Offa after the bank robbery."
While ACP Moshood did not elaborate on the incident, Akinnibosun had previoulsy disclosed in an exclusive interview with New Telegraph how they ended up at the palace on the day Saraki visited.
He disclosed that he received a phone call from another Saraki 'boy' who informed him that the former Kwara governor was visiting the Olofa's palace which prompted him to call two other people who were involved in the robbery, Aro and Adex, to go meet the senate president in Offa from their Oro base. According to his account, they didn't personally meet with Saraki at the palace.
He said, "I was at home when a friend of mine called me. His name is Shamsudeen Bada; he is a boy to Bukola Saraki too. We have a platform, but I did not quickly see the message on the platform. So, he now called me and said the Senate President would be going to Offa. I now called Aro and Adex and asked them where they were; they said they were at the saw mill, that we should meet at home. We now moved from our house to Offa. On getting there, it was just 15 minutes the senate president had been inside already. So, we didn't stay much and he left."
In the New Telegraph interview, Akinnibosun also claimed that his group later entered the Olofa's palace and followed Senator Rafiu Ibrahim (Kwara South) who gave them the sum of N50,000 after leaving the palace.
He said, "On his way going, Shamsudeen now called me that Senator Rafiu was on his way back, but the senate president had already gone; that we should wait until Senator Rafiu comes. When he came, we now went inside, as we got inside, the Olofa was in; we all stood there with him. When he left, we now followed Senator Rafiu. On getting to one small village, that was where Senator Rafiu stopped and wanted to ease himself.
"He now gave us N50,000 all the youth that were following him; because that is how we normally do. He sent one of his boys to give me N50,000; I now shared it to everybody that was there. After the Senator left, we all left to our place of living, which is Oro."
Akinnibosun further claimed that he was back at the Olofa's palace again when Governor Ahmed also visited the same day. He however clarified that the N250,000 reportedly given to youths in Offa was not for his group but for all of Offa youths.
He told New Telegraph, "Somebody now called; I have forgotten the person's name, to say, 'They said Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed will be going to Offa'. The person now said, 'Look at his convoy; the convoy is even coming'. That was how I called Adex and Aro again. So, we now met and moved to Offa again, with the governor.
"The governor did not give me money; he gave N250,000 to the youth of Offa; all the youths in Offa through his Personal Assistant (Political)."
The governor's Personal Assistant (Political), Alabi Olalekan, as well as his chief of staff, Yusuf Abdulwahab, have been arrested in connection with the Offa robbery.
Governor Ahmed and Saraki have both denied any alleged involvement with the group or the robbery that shocked Offa and the country two months ago.
Even though ACP Moshood had invited the senate president to show up at the Force Intelligence Response Team office in Guzape, Abuja for questioning, Saraki revealed on Monday, June 4, that he'd been asked to instead respond to the allegations in writing within 48 hours.
On Tuesday, June 5, he presided over a joint session of the National Assembly with Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and lawmakers reaffirmed a vote of no confidence passed on the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
During the press briefing on Wednesday, ACP Moshood announced that the new revelations mean Saraki still has a case to answer and is still under investigation in connection to the Offa bank robbery.