© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Dino Melaye has never been formally invited by the police, says media aide
Gideon Ayodele, media aide to Dino Melaye, controversial senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District at the National Assembly, says his principal had never been formally invited by the police prior to being arrested on Tuesday.
Ayodele made this known in a statement he issued on Wednesday. He said Melaye refused to go to Lokoja with the police because he feared that his life may be in danger. Moreover, Ayodele noted that Melaye’s case had been transferred from Lokoja to Abuja.
He said Melaye had voluntarily driven himself to the SARS office at Guzape Hills, Abuja, alongside his lawyers and some aides, but shortly after he got there, the officers dragged him in a vehicle and headed towards Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.
“The public will vividly recall that this same case involving Senator Dino Melaye had already been transferred to Abuja by the Chief Justice of the Federal High Court after Senator Melaye expressed worry about his safety in Lokoja,” Ayodele stated.
“Now, the question is why will they want to forcefully take him to Lokoja? The Senator believes they are doing the Kogi Governor’s bidding in order to assassinate him.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, he (Melaye) had never evaded police invitation before now because there was none extended to him in the first place. Rather, what the Police FPRO, Mr. Jimoh Moshood, had been doing was to summon the Senator through media briefings, a practice which is unconventional.”
Ayodele said that Melaye did not jump out of a moving police vehicle as has been widely reported in the media, adding that the scene created on Tuesday was “a last resort by Senator Dino Melaye in order foil attempt to kidnap him and kill him by agents of Kogi State governor in connivance with the police.”
On Tuesday evening, Dino Melaye was rushed to Zankili Medical Centre, Abuja, after he sustained injuries when he allegedly jumped from a moving police van in a bid to escape.
A spokesperson for the hospital said Melaye was in a stable condition, but is suspected to have broken a vertebrae.
However, Jimoh Moshood, the Police Public Relations Officer, said Melaye has been rearrested and “would be arraigned in court without further delay”.
PHOTOSPEAK: Senator Dino Melaye brought into Zankli hospital in the Mabushi district of Abuja. He was injured while allegedly jumping off a police vehicle around Area One that was conveying him to court in Lokoja, Kogi state. @dino_melaye
Photos: Aminu Omoye pic.twitter.com/mZtnyInV65
— Sumner Shagari Sambo (@Sumner_Sambo) April 24, 2018
Melaye was declared wanted by the police for allegedly providing guns to criminals. He was arrested on Monday at the Abuja international airport, while about to travel to Morocco, but was later released.
Later on Monday, a team of policemen and operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS) cordoned off Melaye’s residence at the Maitama area of Abuja, apparently to prevent him from sneaking out unnoticed. The law enforcement agents later withdrew following intervention from other senators and an assurance that Melaye will report himself to the police the following day.
Melaye drove himself to the police station around 8 am on Tuesday, and was taken to the SARS office, from where he was reportedly being taken to Lokoja before he attempted to escape.