Network on Police Reforms in Nigeria (NOPRIN), a coalition of no fewer than 46 Civil Society Groups (CSGs) has warned the Nigeria Police to desist from politicising the ongoing investigation into Offa robbery in which no fewer than 33 people, including police officers and pregnant women, were gunned down.
This was just as the group raised concerns about non-parade of two key suspects in the saga, namely Adikwu and Kayode Opadokun, among other, saying this development had given rise to suspicion that the duo might have been eliminated to cover up and put fears in other suspects that they would similarly be eliminated if they failed to cooperate by sticking with the police narrative on the incident.
National Coordinator of NOPRIN, Okechukwu Nwanguma, gave this warning, while briefing newsmen at the Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ), Lagos State Secretariat, Ikeja, on Wednesday, insisting that perpetrators of the sad incident must all be apprehended and brought to justice “no matter who is involved.”
Nwanguma, who was represented by Samuel Akpologun, while lamenting the handling of the ongoing investigation into the robbery incident, stated that rather than base its investigation on integrity and professionalism, the law enforcement agency had allegedly allowed politics to overshadow its action.
The national coordinator further expressed concerns, saying that the police had yet to make public money recovered from the suspects since they were paraded, adding that the police had also left out the chief armourer, a dismissed policeman, called Adikwu as well as Kayode Opadokun, from being paraded alongside others.
According to him, all these lapses have raised concerns about police motive in the investigation.
“Why should the police choose those they want to parade leaving others. Since it has decided to parade the suspects, none of them should be excluded. Since it is an issue that concerns the public, the police should convince us that it isn’t taking a side,” he said.
“There are emerging fears about the safety of these suspects who were not paraded. NOPRIN calls on the police to ensure the safety of the Adikwu and Kayode. They should be produced alive to have their day in court, to corroborate or rebut the police narrative that it was Senate President Olusola Saraki who provided the weapons.
“NOPRIN hereby calls on the police to publicly confirm the condition of these suspects. The police should produce the two suspects in order to douse the suspicion that they have been eliminated to cover up and put fears in the other suspects that they would similarly be eliminated if they don’t cooperate by sticking with the police narrative that it was Saraki who supplied them the weapons,” Nwanguma added.