Kogi lawmaker, Senator Dino Melaye, has explained why he carried out
With help from hoodlums, Melaye had briefly escaped from police officers while he was being transported from Abuja to Kogi on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.
The lawmaker had refused to honour police invitations for weeks and had been declared wanted before he was eventually arrested on Tuesday.
In a statement released by the lawmaker's media aide, Gideon Ayodele, early on Wednesday, April 25, he said despite surrendering to operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) early on Tuesday, Melaye refused to be transported to Kogi due to fears that he would be assassinated by officers in collusion with the Kogi state government.
Melaye's spokesperson also said that contrary to reports in the media, the lawmaker did not jump out of a moving police vehicle. However, he failed to disclose how police officers lost him to unknown hoodlums before he was rearrested.
Ayodele assured that the lawmaker's resistance on Tuesday was a last ditch attempt to foil the attempt to kidnap and assassinate him.
The statement read, "Earlier in the morning, Senator Dino Melaye as a law-abiding citizen voluntarily submitted himself to the operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) who had laid siege to his private residence since around 3.35pm of Monday, April 23, 2018.
"He, along with his lawyers and personal aides, was driven in his private car to the SARS office in Guzape district of Abuja, sandwiched among the numerous police vehicles earlier deployed to his house.
"But shortly after Mr Melaye entered the police custody in Abuja, officers dragged him in a vehicle and headed towards Lokoja, the Kogi State capital which also falls under his Kogi West Senatorial District.
"Mr Melaye feared that his life would be in danger if taken to Lokoja, amongst other alleged sinister motives of both the police and the state government there.
"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.
"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."
Thugs helped Melaye escape - Police
Senator Melaye escaped custody of the police with the help of unknown thugs who blocked the path of the police vehicle conveying him, prompting the lawmaker to jump out of the vehicle through the window and escape with the hoodlums.
A police statement read, "At about 12pm of today (Tuesday) Sen. Dino Melaye while in lawful custody of the Nigeria Police Force and being taken for arraignment in Federal High Court Lokoja, from Abuja, escaped from lawful custody when hoodlums and miscreants in Two (2) Toyota Hilux Vehicles blocked the Police vehicle conveying Senator Dino Melaye around Area 1 Round About, Abuja and in the process the Senator jumped out of the Police vehicle through the window and was rescued from the Police men by hoodlums and miscreants to an unknown destination."
The Senator resurfaced at the in an ambulance, apparently unconscious, around 4:25pm and was admitted into the emergency unit. A medical official told Premium Times that Melaye was not in critical condition, but he was suspected to have broken a vertebrae.
A team of at least 30 armed police officers caught up with Melaye in the health facility and took custody of the room he was admitted into.
According to the police, one of the vehicles used by the hoodlums to aid Melaye's rescue was recovered by officers on Tuesday. The police statement also disclosed that Senator Melaye will be arraigned in court without further delay.
The lawmaker was moved to the National Hospital, Abuja, in a police ambulance around 9:30pm on Tuesday despite objections from Zankli medical staff who advised against moving him.
Melaye's criminal association
After Kabiru Saidu, a.k.a Osama, and Nuhu Salisu, aka Small, were arrested at Ogojueje in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi on January 19, 2018, they confessed to the police that Senator Melaye hired them to cause unrest in the state ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The criminal suspects revealed that the lawmaker handed them a bag containing one AK-47 rifle, two pump action guns and the sum of N430,000 to recruit hardened troublemakers and unleash mayhem in Kogi.
The police first requested Melaye's presence in a letter addressed to Senate President, Bukola Saraki, dated March 2, 2018, urging him to report to the Police on March 7 to answer to the criminal offences levelled against him, but he refused the invitation, alleging that the police was colluding with the Kogi state government to cause him harm.
He was officially declared wanted by the police on March 28, the day he was due to be arraigned in court over the charges of criminal conspiracy and unlawful possession of prohibited firearms alongside OsamaandSmall who both escaped from their prison cell but were rearrested before April 1.