UPDATED: Dino Melaye surrenders to police

Dino Melaye
Dino Melaye

The Kogi West Senator, Dino Melaye, whose Maitama Abuja home had been besieged by the police in the last eight days, has handed himself over to the authorities.

The lawmaker who last week told journalists he was out of Abuja when the siege began was apparently in the house.

He opened the door of the house himself on Friday afternoon in the presence of police operatives and some senators of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

While coming out of the house, the senator slumped to the floor and was later assisted onto his feet.

He was thereafter taken to the office of the IGP Intelligence Response Squad (IRT) in Guzape, Abuja.

Mr Melaye wilfully made himself available to police, one of his friends, Bode Gbadebo, told PREMIUM TIMES Friday afternoon.

From his account, Mr Melaye was visited by some colleague lawmakers around 3 p.m. Friday afternoon, alongside his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome.

Lawmakers who visited him included Boma Goodhead, a member of the House of Representatives; a Senator from Kogi, Atai Aidoko-Ali; and Philip Gyunkaankther, a senator from Nasarawa State.

It is not clear whether it was the lawmakers who convinced Mr Melaye to surrender to the police. But Mr Gbadebo told PREMIUM TIMES the legislators accompanied the senator to the police headquarters where they were told the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, was not around.

PREMIUM TIMES had earlier reported how the police laid siege to the senator’s Abuja residence on Friday a turbulent year which began with allegations that the lawmaker was involved in multiple armed robbery and murder plots.

The siege marks at least the fourth attempt to arrest Mr Melaye by the police in 2018.

The police, in a statement by its spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, while speaking on the reason for laying siege to Mr Melaye’s residence, said the senator, alongside his ‘armed thugs’, shot one Danjuma Saliu, a sergeant, in July 2018.

“The Police operatives currently in the residence of Senator Dino Melaye are to effect his arrest to answer to the case of attempted culpable homicide on the shooting of a Police Officer, Sgt Danjuma Saliu, attached to 37 Police Mobile Force (PMF) while on duty at a stop and search point along Aiyetoro Gbede, Mopa Road in Kogi state.”

“The above offence was committed by Senator Dino Melaye and his armed thugs in Kogi State on the 19th July, 2018 when they shot and wounded a police officer, Sgt Danjuma Saliu, attached to 37 Police Mobile Force (PMF) while on duty at a stop and search point along Aiyetoro Gbede, Mopa Road in Kogi state.”

“The Police Officer is yet to recover from the gunshot injury he sustained during the attack and still under intensive medical care,” the statement reads.

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The police vowed to continue the siege until the senator surrendered himself.

Mr Melaye who was still at with the police at the time of this report.
The controversial senator is also being prosecuted on two separate charges of attempted suicide and allegedly arming criminals. He was granted bail by the judges in both cases.

Mr Melaye has denied any wrongdoing and said he was being persecuted by the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, and the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr Bello has, however, distanced himself from Mr Melaye’s ordeal.

Mr Melaye was one of the senators who defected to the opposition PDP from Nigeria’s ruling party, APC, last year.

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