Few days ago, two petitioners through their petition submitted to the Kwara State Judicial Panel of Enquiry on police brutality, narrated how they were tortured by officials of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), to implicate former Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki in the infamous Offa robbery case. This revelation didn’t come as a surprise to followers and supporters of Saraki as well as many Nigerians who have followed the case objectively for almost three years.
The Offa robbery case has become dormant and nearly forgotten due to the judicial frustration and lack of will to fast track judgment that it has suffered. This is mainly caused by the politicisation of the case from the outset. It is undoubtedly one of the most terrible cases ever seen in the Nigerian judicial system and policing in the country. No one would have imagined or thought that such case would be politicised at the detriment of seeking justice for the victims and the people of Offa.
Now that the truth of the matter is unfolding and many of those who were fed with lies, are beginning to realise that it was ridiculous to have assumed the erstwhile President of the 8th Senate, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki sent the armed robbers. Saraki not only strongly condemned the act, he made frantic efforts to ensure that the banks did not shut down so as not to jeopardise the economy of the town. He also pressurized the police authorities to immediately improve the security architecture of the town with the provision of Armoured Personnel Carrier, APC. The former Senate President who was on a visit to the Eastern part of the country had to cut short his trip and rushed down to Offa to commiserate with Olofa, and the family of the victims. All he did were met with criticisms and lies. Unfortunately, some people fell for the lies and propaganda, as they let their emotions and sentiments becloud their sense of judgment.
Those who knew the truth and politicized it are the domestic terrorists in the state, who picked their thirst and desire for power above humanity and conscience. The domestic terrorists forgot the judgment of history on their propaganda and lies in an attempt to bring down a single man. They sold lies and propaganda, they became exponents of conspiracy theories, equivocation(s), and enemies of the state and the town, Offa specifically.
Who would have ever thought the truth was going to come out effortlessly and people will form their judgment with a clear mind now that the heated political situation is not present? Those who remained mischievous and uncomfortable in power in an imagined fear of Saraki rising again, their fear only points to one fact, they don’t want a dose of their poison, they put their honour for sale and religiously sold lies of Saraki’s involvement. How a man survived such an allegation is still surprising, an unimaginable and unfounded claim that was generally bought and keyed into. These elements are yet to give up, as we can see, they energetically continued on the path of wasted vocation in selling an outdated lie that is no longer and can no longer be effective.
The media warfare and lawfare against Saraki are unprecedented in our national history, everyday was not without its issue and portion of drama and lies. The recent vindication by the account of these two petitioners should serve as a lesson to us all not make a judgment on others hastily, especially when they are humans and men like us. Experimenting lies and inventing disastrous narratives in pursuit of power by politicians was the meanest ever seen in Kwara’s political landscape.
Truth doesn’t care about feelings, sentiments, or assumptions, all it cares about is candid revelations of activities without bias or contempt and that is exactly what the petitions submitted to the Judicial panel of inquiry on police brutality did. It came out like a light in favour of no one, but the true victims of the robbery and how an important case of injustice was manipulated into calumnies and political machinations to destroy a single man, just a man, at the expense of our sincerity, conscience, and desire for truth.
History will remember this, decades and centuries later, it shall be remembered how a whole town suffered the injustice of justice, how fairness was not fair to the people of Offa in the name of politics. How politicians used their disastrous mouth to deprive Offa victims the true justice they deserved.
Like light, justice and truth will always prevail no matter how long it takes.
Abdulganiyu Abdulqadir, the Press Officer on Home Matters to Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, writes from Ilorin, Kwara State.