The Nigerian police on Saturday paraded six suspects allegedly responsible for the attempted assassination of Dino Melaye, a senator representing Kogi West.
Among those paraded at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, was Taofiq Isah, 54, the Chairman of Ijumu Local Government Council of Kogi State, whom the police said was the mastermind of the attempt on the senator’s life.
Senator Melaye was reported to have narrowly escaped death when gunmen, numbering about 10, attacked his country home at Ayetoro-Gbede in Ijumu Local Government Area.
The incident occurred on April 15 while Mr. Melaye was on holiday at home during the Easter.
“At about midnight, we started hearing gunshots. They fired more than 200 rounds of bullet into the house,” the senator recounted his experience shortly after the attack.
Ede James and Ahmed Ajayi, a police orderly to the Ijumu council chairman and a security man at the chairman’s residence respectively were also paraded by the police.
Another local security man, Michael Bamidele, who was attached to the chairman’s residence, was among those arrested.
Others are Ade Obage and Abdullahi Isah (alias Eko).
The Force spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, who paraded the suspects before journalists, said one Abdulmumini, otherwise known as Iron, said to be the personal assistant to the council chairman was at large.
Mr. Moshood said the inspector general of police had directed detectives to investigate the attempt on the senator’s life and bring to justice those who were behind it.
He said from the police investigation it was the Ijumu council chairman, Mr. Isah, who asked his aides, Mr. Abdulmumini, to recruit hired assassins to go after Senator Melaye.
Apart from mentioning the evidence that allegedly linked the suspects to the crime, the police spokesperson said three of the suspects confessed to their involvement in it.
“Abdulmumini a.k.a Iron (at large) is the personal Assistant (PA) to Chairman Ijumu LGA. Investigation so far revealed that he recruited members of the gang for the attack namely: Abdullahi a.k.a Eko arrested, Osama (SNU) at large, Lukman a.k.a General/Commander at large and China a.k.a Lie down flat at large and Adamu Aloha also at large,” the police spokesperson said.
“The suspects jointly entered the ambulance and left to Senator Dino Melaye residence at Ijumu LGA Kogi State.
“Abdullahi Isah a.k.a Eko the third suspect further confessed to the crime and admitted to have been sent by the Chairman of Ijumu LGA in Kogi State Hon. Taofiq Isah to go and assassinate Senator Dino melaye.”
The police said it recovered one ambulance Hyundai Bus, five AK-47 riffles, one berretta pistol, and two locally made single barrel shot guns.
Other exhibits recovered are 25 expended shells of 7.62 mm ammunition, 13 expended shells of 9mm ammunition and 12 expended shells gauge cartridge.
“Investigation is being intensified to arrest other suspects at large. All suspects will be arraigned in court on completion of investigation,” the police spokesperson, Mr. Moshood, said.
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