Governor Ahmed denies sponsoring Offa bank robbers, rejects police indictment

Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed
Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has denied police allegations of sponsoring, funding and supporting political thuggery.

In a statement issued on Sunday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communication, Dr. Muyideen Akorede, the governor described the allegations as false.

He also rejected his alleged indictment by the police and the 

suspects involved in the Offa bank robbery, who are currently in custody.

The statement read in part: “Kwara State governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, denies the allegations of supporting political thuggery or any other acts of criminality as alleged by the Nigeria Police or the suspects allegedly arrested in connection with the tragic Offa robbery.

“Neither has he at any time funded or provided arms to any individual or group in the state or anywhere in the country.”

Furthermore, the governor affirmed that while the state government has empowered several youth groups under its acclaimed Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) scheme, neither he nor the state government can be held liable for how beneficiaries utilize the credit.

He, therefore, urged the police to complete their investigations and charge the suspects to court soon in line with the dictates of the rule of law.

Akorede said, “To set the records straight, the Kwara State Government has a well-known empowerment scheme under the Small And Medium Enterprises platform, which is used to move women and youths groups into entrepreneurship.

“Consequently, several youth and women groups have benefitted from the scheme to date. However, at no point did the Kwara State government directly provide funds to any group known as Good Boys for any purpose.

Similarly, if any of the beneficiaries chose to use the SME credit secured from the government to purchase a vehicle, which was then alleged to have been used for an act of criminality, the Kwara State governor and indeed the state government cannot be held liable for such actions since neither had prior knowledge of such intentions on beneficiaries’ part”.

The statement came shortly after Senate President Bukola Saraki was invited by the Nigeria Police force also in connection with the bank robbery.

A statement released earlier by the Force Spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, Sunday, said five of the suspects who confessed to the crime had claimed that they were political thugs of the Senate President and Governor Ahmed.

Also according to the police, the five gang leaders further confessed that they were operating under the name Youth Liberation Movement a.k.a “Good Boys” and were sponsored with firearms, money and operational vehicles by the Senate President and Governor Ahmed.

About 30 robbers had hit the town on April 5, 2108, raiding five commercial banks around Owode Market, an area in Offa Local Government Area of the state.

According to the police, over 33 innocent persons were killed and several others injured after the attack, which lasted for hours.

Some of those killed included some pregnant women and nine police personnel.

The robbers were also said to have made away with several millions of naira from the banks.

Days after the incident, the Kwara State Government placed a N5 million bounty on the suspects behind the robbery.

According to Akorede, the governor was deeply saddened by the incident and therefore, said that the money would be offered to anyone, who could provide information that would lead to the arrest and prosecution of the suspects.

Also, shortly after, the Senate President visited Offa town to condole with the traditional ruler and the people over the unfortunate incident.
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