Kwara State government said yesterday that the Police was being economical with the truth as regard the April robbery suspects in Offa.
The police had reportedly blamed attorney-general and commissioner for Justice for delaying arraignment of the suspects.
They said they had concluded investigations and sent the case file to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who directed that the file be sent to the state Attorney-General.
Reacting to the police statement in Ilorin, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Kamaldeen Ajibade (SAN) described the police utterances as ‘cheap blackmail.’
Said he: “I see this as a cheap blackmail by the police. They have something to hide, which they are yet to tell Nigerians. I am sure at the end of the day, Nigerians will know what has transpired in this matter. That is why the police are passing the buck. They can now see that Nigerians have started asking questions that if you’ve arrested suspects since April and they are yet to be arraigned, then there must be something about it. I urge people to ask questions about this matter.
“I am surprised, particularly the statement coming from the police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood. Moshood, without being personal, is from Ilorin. He has contacts and I am sure he follows events in the Kwara Command. He knows that the suspects are still with him at the police headquarters.
“Why will he now mislead the public that we are yet to prosecute? How can you prosecute people kept in Abuja in Kwara State High Court? It is not possible.”
The attorney-general added: “I want to confirm to you that a letter was written from the Office of the Director of the Public Prosecution of the Federation under the Office of the Attorney-General of them Federation. My office received the letter on August 27.
“The content of the letter had to do with the investigation report on the Offa robbery and directing my office to take up the prosecution of the matter.
“Immediately we received this letter on September 6, we wrote a letter through the Office of the State Director of the Public Prosecution to the Office of the Attorney-General requesting them to provide for us the original case diary in the Offa robbery and to transfer the suspects to Kwara State Police Command. We waited for about three weeks and did not hear anything from them.
“I then met the AIG Legal, David Ogbodo and requested that the original case diary be sent to Kwara to enable us start prosecution of the matter. I also requested him to send the suspects to Kwara State and he told me that he had directed the man in charge. That is Abba Kyari.
“We waited for another week, we could not get anything from them. So, I directed my DPP to liaise with the police this time. He liaised with the police both in the state and with Abbah Kyari. They promised everyday that they would send the suspects to Kwara and the original case diary, to no avail.
“You cannot prosecute under the law without having the original case diary. You cannot even file a charge without the case diary and in filing a charge, you have to exhibit what we call proof of evidence.
“This proof of evidence entails the statements of witnesses. Statements of witnesses in this sense, we are talking of the people that investigated Offa robbers. We don’t have all these with us. We don’t have the suspects on ground, we don’t have the witnesses on ground.
“How do you file a charge? How do you prosecute people you cannot see?”