….‘It’s all a gang up to silence me’ – Melaye
The police have accused the senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, of sponsoring and arming political thugs in his state.
According to a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer Mr Jimoh Moshood, the police arrested two suspects who confessed to the various criminal roles they played in committing several kidnappings and armed robbery in different towns across the state.
Moshood revealed that the suspects, who have been on the wanted list for more than two years, were nabbed after a gun battle with police personnel that lasted for hours on January 19, 2018, in Dekina Local Government Area of the state.
He added that the suspects confessed during interrogation that they were political thugs recruited by some mischievous politicians in the state to cause mayhem, disruption of peace, and destruction of lives and property.
On how the suspects were linked to Senator Melaye, the police spokesman said: “According to the gang leader Kabiru Saidu a.k.a Osama “31 YRS”, he has been working as a political thug for one Alhaji Mohammed Audu – a politician in the state.
“He said Alhaji Mohammed Audu invited him to Abuja and introduced him to Senator Dino Melaye and they met on Airport road, Abuja inside the Senator Dino Melaye’s car in the month of December 2017.
“The suspect further confessed that, Senator Dino Melaye told him that they should start working for the senator as his political thugs and they should recruit and train more other thugs to work for him in preparation toward 2019 general elections to enable him (Senator Dino Melaye) challenge his political opponents and disorganise Kogi State.”
Saidu was also said to have confessed that the senator handed over a bag containing one AK-47 rifle, two pump action guns, and the sum of N430,000, to share with his boys.
Following the purported indictments and criminal confessions, the police have written to the Senate President and urged him to release Senator Melaye to respond to the allegations against him.
They noted that while the request was to enable the force to carry out a discreet investigation into the claims made by the suspect, the lawmaker refused to honour the invitation.
Moshood, however, said the police have filed a case of criminal conspiracy and unlawful possession of prohibited firearms against Senator Melaye and others.
‘A gang up’
In a swift reaction to the police claims, Senator Melaye denied the allegations during a telephone interview with Channels Television on Monday.
“It’s all a gang up to silence me,” he said. “The battle to liberate Kogi State and Nigeria is a battle of no retreat no surrender.”
The lawmaker further alleged that his indictment was a spontaneous reaction to his recent revelation of the purported importation of military uniforms and arms by the Kogi State governor.
He wondered how he could sponsor thugs now when he did not become a senator using arms and called on the Presidency to intervene in the matter.