Hundreds of youths in Ilorin, Kwara State, yesterday marched on the Government House, alleging a plot to frame the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, in a criminal case.
The protest, organised by a group, Kwara Agenda, was to raise the alarm over an alleged plot to link Saraki with a murder case involving one Lanre Mohammed Soliu, the son of a former state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), who was recently paraded by the police for his alleged involvement in cult-related murders. The protestors, who carried several placards with various inscriptions such as: “Fresh plot to frame Saraki uncovered,” “Stop intimidating Saraki,”
“We stand with Saraki,” among others, were received at the forecourt of the Government House by Governor Abdulfattah Ahmed. Leader of the group, Taofiq Olateju, told Ahmed that the suspect was being transported to Abuja while his crime was allegedly committed in Ilorin and appealed to men of conscience across the country to prevail on the Federal Government to stop intimidating and humiliating the Senate President.
The police in Kwara State had, last week, paraded Lanre, the son of a former spokesman of the command, Alhaji Woru Mohammed, for alleged murder and membership of Aiye confraternity.
he state Commissioner of Police, Aminu Pai Saleh, also paraded an alleged notorious cultist, Abolaji Safti Ojulari, saying that the suspect, alongside 13 of his accomplices, had killed 11 people, including a notorious hoodlum, Bayo Ajia, between 2016 and 2018.
The Kwara Agenda leader expressed concern over the sudden twist introduced to the investigation of Lanre, arguing that having allegedly committed the offence in Ilorin, his trial should also be within the jurisdiction. He said: “Our attention has been drawn to a fresh plot by the Federal Government to implicate the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, in a murder case involving one Lanre Mohammed Soliu.
“It is on record that Lanre Mohammed Soliu was recently paraded alongside five others by the Kwara State Police Commissioner, Aminu Pai Saleh, as members of Aiye confraternity. Soliu was specifically accused of killing one Yemi Bayero of Ago market, Ilorin.
The offences which the suspect allegedly committed were carried out in Ilorin, Kwara State, and expectedly he is supposed to be tried in a competent court of jurisdiction in the state.
“This is not our concern, but our concern is about the plot by the powers that be to torture and force the suspect to implicate Dr. Bukola Saraki. We have it on good authority that the main purpose of transferring the self-confessed cultist to Abuja is to implicate the Senate President in the whole saga.”
In his response, Governor Ahmed commended the protesters’ maturity in carrying out the protest and promised to deliver the message from the youth to the appropriate authorities. In a related development, the state government also issued a statement expressing concern over the transfer of the suspect. In the statement, Senior Special Assistant (Media) to the governor, Dr. Muideen Akorede, quoted the state Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Jimoh Mumini, as expressing worry over the development after an emergency Security Council meeting chaired by Ahmed. Jimoh noted that the offence for which the suspects were arrested were state offences which were triable under the state laws.
He said that though the representative of the Commissioner of Police, Kwara State Command, Aminu Pai Saleh, at the meeting said that the four suspects were transferred to Abuja for further investigation, the state Ministry of Justice had successfully prosecuted suspected cultists and killers at the state High Court under the penal code. The DPP, therefore, urged the police to speed up their investigation and return the suspects to Kwara State so as to commence trial as done by the Ministry of Justice in respect to similar offences and offenders in the past.
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