Here's all you need to know about the arrest of Senator Dino Melaye.
Melaye was picked up at the International wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on the morning of April 23, 2018; as he made to board a flight to Morocco.
“I have just been arrested at the international wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe airport on my way to Morocco for an official engagement sponsored by the Federal Govt after checking in,” Melaye announced to thousands of his followers on Twitter.
1. On March 28, 2018, the police declared Melaye wanted after two suspects who had linked the senator to a case of conspiracy and illegal possession of firearms, bolted out of jail.
The suspects were later rearrested.
2 However, Melaye’s troubles with the police began with a tape.
In June of 2017, Melaye was caught on tape boasting about how he framed the suspects in the alleged assassination attempt on his life.
In the tape, Melaye could be heard telling Muhammed Audu, the son of late former Governor of Kogi, Abubakar Audu, that he used his connections to frame them.
Audu was also heard telling the senator to mention Edward Onoja, the Chief of Staff to the current Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, adding that it was the only way to bring the government down.
3 After Melaye was arraigned in March of 2018, he was charged with an attempt to indict Kogi Chief of Staff Onoja. He was granted a N100,000 bail after.
Melaye was also wanted for questioning over his alleged involvement in a case of unlawful possession of prohibited firearms.
After criminal suspects 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.
4. After Melaye was granted bail, he refused to leave the courtroom because he was scared that the police could arrest him. And fair enough, the police was stationed just outside the court premises to do just that.
The law says a suspect who has been granted bail by a court and who has met the conditions, cannot be arrested within the court premises by security personnel.
5. Senator Melaye remained in the courtroom until it was clear that the police team stationed outside of the court was going nowhere.
Melaye thereafter escaped through the back channel of the court.
6. However, the police who declared Melaye wanted, have been seen watching over the senator in public.
For instance, on April 5, 2018, Melaye accompanied Senate President Bukola Saraki to Kogi to commiserate with the family of the late Deputy Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Umar Buba Jibril.
Melaye even shook hands with a police officer and posted a picture of that moment on his Instagram account for effect.
Since he was declared wanted, Melaye has also shown up at events in Akwa Ibom and Abia States—events that had police milling all over the place. But not one police personnel moved to arrest him.
7. After he was arrested on the morning of April 23, 2018, Melaye said he was told that the police had placed him on its ‘no fly’ list and that he had been barred from travelling.
Melaye was having none of it so he “snatched back” his passport from the official who confiscated it and made to proceed to board his flight.
“But I was then encircled by police officers trying to hold me and saying I am on Interpol wanted list,” the senator told Premium Times.
“We have called Interpol and they said it is a lie. Someone has also mentioned to me that my name was placed at the airport by a police commissioner.
“So here we are, a standoff at a public place at our international airport. We are here", the flamboyant senator said.
Melaye has been having a running battle with Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello—the same governor whose praises he once sang to high heavens.
There's also a plot being orchestrated by Bello to have Melaye recalled from the senate by the people of Kogi West.
8. Apparently, Melaye's arrest was carried out by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).
Mr. Sunday James who is spokesperson of the NIS said Melaye was arrested by immigration officials "based on instructions".