“The police have gone to the scene of the crime and we could not find any car parked there; no trace of shells on the ground.”
The Commissioner of Police in the Nigerian Capital, Abuja, Olufemi Ogunbayo, has denied that there was an assassination attempt on leading opposition politician, Dino Melaye.
Mr. Ogunbayo stated this in a telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday.
Mr. Melaye said his vehicle was shot at on Monday night in the Central Business District of Abuja; and the former federal lawmaker described the incident as an assassination attempt.
Speaking to PREMUIM TIMES on Tuesday evening, Mr. Melaye said he reported the attempted assassination to the Abuja police boss and would further look up to God for more protection.
Mr. Ogunbayo confirmed that Mr. Melaye did actually report the incident, but said it could not be described as an assassination attempt as there was no evidence of gunshot.
The police boss narrated what Mr. Melaye reported to the police. He said the ex-lawmaker said he was on his way home from the National Hospital, Abuja in his airconditioned car, all windows wound up, and was listening to cool music when he noticed a range rover sport golf car drive past his.
“The car was said to have parked few meters away from his and the next thing he (Mr. Melaye) heard was a loud sound which he thought was a gunshot. Dino Melaye never said the shot was aimed at him,” the police boss said.
Mr. Ogunbayo said, “The police have gone to the scene of the crime and we could not find any car parked there; no trace of shells on the ground.”
“And there is car dealer store at the area which we went to ask if they heard any gunshot and they said no they never heard any gunshot,” he added.
The police boss said further investigation showed that Mr. Melaye’s car window is not bullet proof; and if there was a gunshot it would have penetrated straight into the car and he would have been shot dead. He said the window has a sign of a crack on it, which could have been a result of the loud sound.
“If they had wanted to kill Dino, they do not need to drive and park meters away from Dino’s car before shooting, they would have just blocked his car and shoot him at the spot, so that cannot be called an attempted assassination. And how then is it possible for you to be in your car wind up enjoying the air condition and a very cool music and then you hear a gunshot?” he said.
Mr. Ogunbayo said Mr. Melaye’s car has been returned to him and further investigations are ongoing on the matter.
Mr. Melaye, formerly a member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party is now one of the most vociferous critics of the federal government. He is now a member of the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria and has been at the forefront of the demand for probity and accountability in government.
We are trying to put the police claims to Mr. Melaye and we shall provide updates soon.