The trial of the Offa bank robbery case resumed on Wednesday at the Kwara State High Court in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
During the court’s proceedings, one of the principal suspects, Ayoade Akinninbosun told the court that a former Head of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) squad, Abba Kyari offered him N10 million to implicate ex-Senate President Bukola Saraki in the armed robbery case.
Akinninbosun said that Kyari promised to give him a visa to any country of his choice if he took the option to implicate Saraki but he turned down the offer.
Five suspects – Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham and two others – were also charged to court by the police for criminal conspiracy to rob the banks, murder of nine policemen and other citizens, and illegal possession of firearms.
It is recalled that about 10 persons were feared killed in the April 5, 2018 incident while other residents of Offa sustained serious injuries.
However, during cross-examination by the Defence Counsel, Mathias Emeribe (SAN), Akinninbosun said he was offered N10 million to claim that Saraki asked them to carry out the bloody robbery operation.
“He said I should admit and say Saraki was the one who asked us to go and rob. I told him I won’t do that. That I will rather die for what I didn’t do than to lie against an innocent man,” the suspect said.
“He asked me to think over his offer very well. At this point he ordered officers Hassan and Moshood to return me to the cell. A separate one different from where others are and they should stop torturing me,” he said.
Akinninbosun said he was not allowed to write any statement in Ilorin except his bio-data, until they were conveyed to Abuja in a tinted bus, where he was later kept in a place called “abattoir”.
Akinninbosun maintained that Saraki has nothing to do with the robbery case.
He added, “We were like 15 to 20 taken to Abuja, I only know a few of them. We were put outside and served meals, but I couldn’t eat because my hands were paralyzed due to the torture I went through in their hands in Ilorin. They asked Kunle Ogunleye to feed me.
“They separated five of us, put us in the generator house and Officer Hassan Attila ordered they brought some men. They went to bring five Fulani men. They brought them and killed them all in my presence.
“I was told that was not a film. He asked me to stretch my legs and shot my right leg. He shot the second leg but when I tried shifting the leg, it hit my tomb.”
The defendant then went ahead to show the gunshot wound on his legs to the Court.
Akinninbosun added that one of the robbery suspects, Micheal Adikwu, was shot dead in his presence, a situation that got him terrified and made him agree to implicate Saraki in a prepared statement before the press.
However, the presiding judge, Justice Alimat Salman, adjourned the case till February 13, 2023.