A senator, Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West), has accused the Nigerian police of colluding with the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to arraign him on charges of misinformation.
The senator said this while reacting to reports that emanated over the weekend that the Federal government had taken him to court.
Coming under order 14, Mr. Melaye alleged injustice in the matter, and said he was ready to fight the Federal Government and was not afraid of going to prison.
PREMIUM TIMES had last week reported that the federal government was arraigning Mr. Melaye on a two-count charge of false information.
The senator had in April last year reported an alleged attempt on his life at his home in Kogi State.
Mr. Melaye accused the state governor, Yahaya Bello, and his aides of being responsible for the alleged assassination attempt.
The senator and the Kogi governor are members of the same party, APC, but are sworn enemies.
In the first count charge filed against him, Mr. Melaye was accused of deliberately giving false information to the police to frame the Chief of Staff to Mr. Bello, Edward David, as the mastermind of the assassination attempt on him at his hometown in Ayetoro-Gbede, Kogi State.
In the second count, Mr. Melaye was accused of making false statement of facts in a phone conversation with Mohammed Abubakar, a son to the late former Governor of Kogi State, Abubakar Audu, with the intention of harming the reputation of Mr. David.
The case was filed through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on January 31, Punch Newspaper reported.
“The report came to me as a surprise in a civilized society that is governed by the rule of law,” Mr. Melaye said Tuesday at the Senate.
“My life was attempted to be taken away April 14,15 2017. I reported this case to the Nigerian Police and naturally, the police will ask you “who are your suspects?”
“The kidnappers who came were chanting ‘Sai Edward, Sai Taofeek’
“Edward is the Chief of Staff to Kogi State governor and Taofeek is the caretaker chairman of Ijumu Local Government of Kogi state. I stated this in my statement to the Nigerian police.
“As a result of that information, they immediately moved to the residence of Alhaji Taofeek where ammunitions were recovered immediately that morning”, Mr. Melaye told the senate.
He wondered how naming suspects had become misinformation.
“The police swung into action. The tactical command of the Inspector General of Police swung into action. Ten days after, apprehended six out of the 10 that came to kill me. Not only were they apprehended, the spokesperson of the Nigerian police paraded them in a national press conference.
“Not only were they paraded, the spokesperson of the Nigerian police informed Nigerians that all the riffles used for their missions have been recovered by the police.
“Not only were the aminition recovered, confessional statements have been made by those who were directly involved and they also invited this same Taofeek.
“So Taofeek and the suspects spent three weeks with the police here in Abuja. Subsequently, they we’re arraigned before Kogi State High Court. As I speak, I have been invited and my chief witness’ submission has been taken by the court.
“All their statements of confessions, the ammunition and the vehicle they used for the operation is within the premises of the Kogi State High Court as exhibits,” he said.
The senator further explained that the case was still ongoing and that statements had been admitted as exhibits.
“Suddenly, the police collaborated with the Attorney General of the federation and said I have misinformed the police,” he said.
Mr. Melaye told the senate that Mr. Edward had in July, “said openly that before the end of June, Dino Melaye is going to go down and that I am no longer going to be a senator. That is to say, I’m going g to be dead.
“The matter was referred to ethics and privileges. The Nigerian police was petitioned. They are yet to prosecute Edward on the case but me who is the victim of attempted assassination, I am the one the federal government has arraigned for misinformation,” he lamented.
With anger in his voice, the senator decried Nigeria’s democracy, adding that the arraignment would not stop him from speaking the truth.
“What kind of democracy are we practising? If this arraignment is to weaken me, if it is to stop me from speaking the truth, if it is to stop me from criticising the maladministration that is going on in Kogi State, if it is to stop me from criticising the federal government, they have committed a capital compound mistake.
“I shall continue to speak. I shall continue to ask questions. I shall continue to criticise any public officer including the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“I have conquered fear, I am not afraid of the prison. The last administration arrested me 14 times, Abacha’s government detained me. Babangida’s government detained me. I am not afraid of the prison. It is built because of human beings but we will not stop speaking the truth.
“In an unjust society, silence is a crime. The battle to bring Nigeria back on track from these criminals in power is a battle of no retreat no surrender and I am ready to fight the federal government on this matter and I will fight with the last drop of my blood,” he said.
Mr. Melaye is expected to appear before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja on March 1.