A Nigerian senator, Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West) on Tuesday attended the plenary of the senate at the National Assembly complex, amidst a report he has fled the country
SaharaReporter Newspaper reported that the embattled senator fled Nigeria over the political crisis in Kogi State and his trial by the federal government, adding that he begged the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to fight for him.
Mr Melaye, in a statement on Saturday, denied the report stating that he had no reason to flee the country.
Sequel to the report, police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, in a statement on Saturday, said an invitation and a court summon had been issued to Mr Melaye, both of which he said the senator did not honour.
The police spokesperson added that the senator is wanted for allegedly arming suspected criminals.
He said Mr. Melaye’s summon followed the arrest of two men in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State, on January 19, who allegedly confessed to having committed various crimes such as kidnappings and armed robbery.
Mr. Moshood said the suspects also disclosed that Mr. Melaye had handed them a bag containing firearms.
At the senate plenary on Tuesday, Mr Melaye taunted Mr. Moshood for “making him (Melaye) so important” to the extent of organising two press conferences on his matter in one week.
He made this statement while contributing to a point of order raised by Isa Misau (APC, Bauchi) asking the senate to wade into the controversy between Mr Melaye and the police.
Coming under order 42, Mr. Misau urged the senate to order the police to treat Mr. Melaye’s matter in Abuja, stating that if he (Melaye) is allowed to go to Kogi State, he would be risking his life and there would also be a breakdown of law and order.
“The press statement by the Force PRO where they claimed that there are certain suspects alleging Senator Dino Melaye and Mohammed Audu gave them weapon and money to carry out some atrocities in Kogi state, where they said Senator Dino Melaye has been taken to court in Kogi State.
“From the intelligence that we have gathered from Kogi State, if we allow this, if police is allowed to be used to take Senator Dino Melaye to Kogi, there will be possible breakdown of law and order because there are supporters of Senator Dino Melaye and supporters of the governor.
“If we allow this tension whereby even the security situation is bad and then you allow them to take someone who has problem with the state government and where their supporters are there, there will be problem. I think we are not doing good and risking the life of our colleague.
“Apart from that the police are making statements that the weapons that were given on airport road, there are issues of jurisdiction. The issues should be separated, the people that committed atrocities in Kogi they can be tried in Kogi. We are calling for fairness, justice. This matter should be treated in Abuja where everyone will be seen.
“The international community is watching to see what we are going to do. I have never seen where police will take a charge to court – criminal matter – without taking his statement. If they say they didn’t see him to serve him (court processes), Dino Melaye is a public figure, his house is in Maitama and his office.
“They even say that if Dino Melaye does not appear in court tomorrow they will declare him wanted. If the matter is already in court, it is left for the judge to decide what to do. Once the matter is in court police have removed their hands,” Mr Misau said.
While contributing to the point of order, Mr Melaye said he was yet to receive a criminal summon from any court and expressed disappointment at the police for threatening to declare him wanted.
“Mr. President, as I speak to you, the media has been awash that I fled this country, that I am not in Nigeria and I would not return until there is change of government. But here am I physically, flesh and blood.
“I start by saying that, I have not received any criminal summon from any court within the territorial area of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I also want to say that Mr. President, I have not received any arraignment notice from any court. I also read in the media where Mohammed Abdul addressed a conference to say that he has not been served by any court in Nigeria.
“My house is known, my office is known, and there was no attempt to even serve me any court summon in any of my known addresses. That is to start with.
“Despite the fact that I have not been served, an arraignment has been carried out according to the press briefing by Moshood. No statement has been taken from me. So I do not know what investigation was conducted, before the report generated and have been arraigned according to newspaper and social media report. But physically as Dino Melaye, I have not received any summon from any court.
“I am also appalled, why would the Force PRO of the Force Headquarters leave Abuja to go to Lokoja to parade criminals while the state command have their PPRO? Even when Evans, the notorious kidnapper in the history of Federal Republic of Nigeria, was arrested, he was paraded by Lagos command and the PPRO of Lagos State addressed the media.
“Since last week, they have made me so important, they have made me a national subject that Force PRO addressed two press conferences on Dino Melaye alone. They refused to have press conference on Dapchi girls, Boko Haram and the killings going on in the North and the riverine area of the country, but they addressed press conference on an innocent man twice in one week and even declaring that if I am not in court, I would be declared wanted for a matter that has already been taken to court,” Mr Melaye said.
The lawmaker told the Senate that when he was allegedly attacked in April 2017, the police arrested a gang of six people who were paraded by the Force PRO.
He added that the suspects had made confessional statements, guns and ammunition were recovered from them and the vehicle they used was also recovered and “all these were exhibit and laid before Kogi State judiciary.
“These criminals have even been arraigned in court and their testimonies have been accepted as exhibits in court. Yet, one of those declared wanted by the police in my assassination attempt, is the one saying that on Airport Road in December, I gave him three AK 47 and N430, 000 inside my car. But as I speak to you, they failed in their myopic ignorance to state a date and time.
“I want to understand how an arraignment can be done with a criminal’s confession with no date or no time. Because if you give me a date and time, I would be able to account for where I was on that date and time. You would know that the corpse they buried, they left the legs outside,” he added.
Mr Melaye vowed to remain with the truth hoping that the truth will set him free.
“I serve a living God, what God has given me, no man can take and what God has not given to me, no man can give. On his own I stand and I know in God I trust. I have written all the international diplomatic organisations, United Nations, Amnesty International and by the grace of God, I will be on CNN and hard talk on BBC in London. I am going to speak on the loudest part of my voice. If I die, I die; but I shall not die without fighting,” he said.
The senate, thereafter, resolved to mandate the committees on Police and Judiciary to investigate the issue and report back in 48 hours.