The hooded security operatives who stormed an Abuja hospital and forcibly took away Dino Melaye have moved the ailing senator to a medical facility run by the State Security Service, the secret police said late Friday.
Peter Afunanya, a spokesperson for the SSS, said in a statement to PREMIUM TIMES that Mr Melaye was brought to the SSS by the police for treatment.
“The aim of bringing him to the Service’s facility is to complement Police efforts in giving the Senator a deserved medical attention,” Mr Afunanya said. “The Service, in line with medical ethics and spirit of inter-agency cooperation, accepted him.”
The disclosure comes hours Mr Melaye was forcibly moved from a police hospital, also in Abuja, by plainclothes and hooded men whom witnesses suspected were security operatives. The development sparked immediate speculation that the controversial senator had been abducted.
The police later issued a statement saying they moved Mr Melaye to another hospital run by the SSS. They also rejected claims that the senator was abducted.
Mr Melaye turned himself to the police on January 4, bringing an end to a week-long siege that began on December 28 at his residence in the posh Maitama neighbourhood.
He was subsequently taken into custody but moved to a hospital amidst indications his health had deteriorated as he reportedly hid in a basement at his house while the siege lasted.
The police identified Mr Melaye, a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party representing Kogi West Senatorial District, as a prominent suspect in an ongoing attempted homicide investigation. The senator strongly denied the allegations.
Mr Afunanya said the police have a warrant to detain Mr Melaye for two weeks in the first instance, with effect from January 9.
Pictures depicting Mr Melaye as refusing to be taken into the hospital and laying on a quilt of about eight feet at the premises of the SSS hospital were circulated on the Internet Friday afternoon.
Mr Afunanya declined comments to PREMIUM TIMES on whether the hooded officers were of the SSS and whether Mr Melaye later agreed to be taken in for medical care.