Dino Melaye finally surrenders self to police

Senator Dino

Eight days after barricading himself in his residence to avoid arrest by policemen for alleged culpable homicide, the Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye Friday left his Maitama home to meet with the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris at the Force headquarters.

Melaye was visited by some colleague lawmakers around 3pm on Friday, alongside his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome SAN. Lawmakers who came calling included Boma Goodhead, and a Senator from Kogi, Atai Aidoko-Ali.

Reports say that the embattled lawmaker has now moved to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad office, Guzape, Abuja, where he may be interrogation after failing to see the inspector-general who was said to be out of the office.

Over 50 policemen had stormed Melaye’s mansion last week Friday in an attempt to arrest him for interrogation over the alleged shooting of one Sgt. Aliyu. The policemen surrounded the house and cut water and electricity supplies even as the Kogi lawmaker had failed in his bid to secure a court order to make the police vacate his residence.

Accusing the Kogi state government of being behind his ordeal, Melaye had vowed not to succumb to intimidation but human rights lawyer, Femi Falana SAN advised him to “end the drama” and surrender.

Falana said in a statement: “The fundamental right of every citizen to personal liberty is guaranteed by section 35 of the Constitution of Nigeria and article 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights. The right may however be violated by the State if there is reasonable suspicion that any citizen has committed a criminal offence.

“The Nigeria Police Force recently announced its plan to arrest Senator Dino on the allegation that he has committed the offences of criminal conspiracy and attempted culpable homicide. The Senator did not respond to the invitation of the Police on the grounds that the permission of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki was not sought and obtained!

“Convinced that the Senator has decided not to submit himself for investigation, a team of police personnel have surrounded his residence with a view to effecting his arrest. The siege to the house by the Police has needlessly lasted for 6 days. It has been reported that the supply of electricity and water to the house has been disconnected by the Police. Such action cannot be justified in law. There is no doubt that the Nigeria Police Force has itself to blame for the sensationalization of the planned arrest of the Senator.”

On the day of the police siege to his home, Melaye said the following to journalists: “There is a deliberate attempt by the Kogi state government to kill me, to destroy me. I have written the inspector-general of police (IGP). My international passport is with the Nigerian police, I have a court order that it should be released to me but the IG has refused to honour the court order.

“If the police that is supposed to maintain law and order cannot obey court order, how do they expect citizens to obey court orders? As I speak to you, my security detail has been withdrawn since April and it is all in a deliberate attempt to expose me, so that I will be killed and destroyed.

“The same SARS from Kogi that shot at me are the same SARS in the photograph occupying my compound and 80 percent in mufti. I thought that recently that there was an instruction that SARS should wear uniform… I am in seven different courts and anyone that they will do will be number eight. I’m not afraid to be arraigned because my hands are clean and I know the God I serve will deliver me.”

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