Dino Melaye petitions UN, rights groups, IGP…; says my life is in danger
ABUJA – CHAIRMAN, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Dino Melaye, APC, Kogi West, Sunday raised the alarm that his life was in danger, just has he said that there was an immediate plan to murder him “extra-judicially” by his “political enemies” in collusion with men of the Kogi State Police Command. Sen. Dino Melaye Melaye in separate petitions to the United Nations (UN) Resident Representative, members of the diplomatic corps including the Ambassadors of the United States, Germany, Canada and the High Commissioner of the United Kingdom and the Amnesty International, Transparency International and the Human Rights Watch, however called on the intervention of the Inspector General of Police, members of the international Community and human rights bodies to save him from what he described as “willful, intentional harassment, oppression, political victimization and threat to life.” Melaye through his lawyers, Messrs Ricky Tarfa & Co, wrote to the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, urging the police boss to raise a neutral police team to investigate the allegations of “gun running” being levelled against him by the Kogi State Police Command in conspiracy with the Kogi State Government. Melaye said, “As things stand, I live each day in constant and reasonable fear for my life, looking over my shoulders and being harassed by the named politicians. The Police are a willing tool in the hands of these politicians. “I am a law abiding citizen who voluntarily submitted myself before the FCT High Court to answer to charges which I know are unsustainable. “However, the situation I am in right now gives me reason to believe that the law enforcement agencies, particularly the police, are in cohorts with my political enemies and can even go to the extent of terminating my life extra-judicially. “I therefore seek your intervention in the circumstances to ensure that my fundamental human rights which both Nigeria and your countries are party to are guaranteed and my life protected.” Ricky Tarfa, SAN, in a similar petition to the Inspector General of Police, on behalf of Melaye, averred among others that: “The fact that our client is now the one alleged to be a gun runner by the police in Kogi state is therefore extremely suspicious and with all due respect smacks of a set up. “Our client who is abroad on an official trip had it brought to his notice and immediately informed us yesterday that the plans to set him up and frame him on spurious gun-running charges have been perfected and that some suspects would be paraded as having named him as their sponsor yesterday. “This is exactly what happened in Lokoja yesterday 19th March 2018, with a press briefing and parade of suspects by the Force PRO on behalf of the Nigeria Police Force. “Sir, we urge for your urgent intervention in this matter. As we have stated, our client, convinced of his innocence is ready to submit himself for investigation and to answer any charge against his person but by police officers of whose neutrality he is confident in this matter. Police officers from Abuja. “Our client being a prominent serving Senator…will not and cannot run from Justice, but balks at being delivered directly into the hands of people who have made public threats against his person. “We anxiously await your intervention sir, to secure the life of our client and to avoid any breakdown of law and order.” Melaye in his save my soul letter to the UN and members of the diplomatic corps in Nigeria, traced his present ordeal to his vocal stance in the Senate. “As a Senator, I have been vocal in my contributions to national issues and “particularly so when the interest or wellbeing of the people of my constituency is concerned,” he said. He noted that as a lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District in the 8th Senate, he had consistently spoken out against injustice, mis-governance and acts of corruption “without mincing words or minding whose ox is gored in my quest to better the lot of the people of my constituency, my state and the nation as a whole.” He lamented that despite being in the same political party (All Progressives Congress) with Governor Bello, the Governor and himself have remained at logger heads “because I do not spare him where I feel he has gone wrong with respect to governance in Kogi State.” Melaye said: “Instead of heeding my positive criticism and advice however, for the good of the State, the governor has allowed himself to become a victim of his own over-inflated ego and reportedly vowed that he would get me recalled from the Senate and deal with me. “The recall process was illegally initiated on the governor’s instructions and is currently the subject of litigation at the High Court, FCT and Court of Appeal. “In addition to the initiation of the recall process, the Governor, his Chief of Staff, one Mr. Edward Onoja, among other people, have been making public threats against my person at several fora in Kogi State.” He said that he attached to the petition a video record of Onoja, where he (Onoja) boastfully threatened “to bring me down before June this year” at a public function in Kogi State. He said the following words transcribed from the video were threats from Onoja: “So, when we are moving, an enemy is coming, even though we do not have eyes, there is somebody looking at them (there is a local language and cheers from the crowd and rendering of Amen by all). “There is somebody in Kogi State, he calls himself Senator Dino, and he says he will bring me and my twin brother down, if by the end of June he is not down in Kogi State, then there is no God. “Anyone who digs a pit for you must fall inside that pit. If by the end of June and he is still standing as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it means there is no God and I know there is God. My people (local language spoken) let’s see the person who has God on his side,” Bello’s Chief of Staff, Onoja, was quoted to have said. According to Melaye: “Things got to a level last year where I could only move around Kogi State at great personal risk to myself as thugs who had been commissioned to do so, were bent on attacking me at every opportunity. “Sometime last year, on April 15, 2017, to be precise, I was at my residence at Iyala, Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State which is my hometown. My residence was attacked by armed gunmen who fired shots sporadically for the sole purpose of assassinating me. “The unknown gunmen were heard chanting that they were going to kill me by all means. They mentioned the names of some people, saying that I cannot go scot free after humiliating such people. “I was lucky to escape unhurt and in genuine fear for my life and that of the members of my household, I reported the incident to the Nigeria Police Force. I made a statement to the Police and made mention of all the names of the people the unknown gunmen chanted during the attack “I further stated that the said people which include the Governor of Kogi State, the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Kogi State, one Mr. Edward Onoja, amongst others, had earlier made threats against my person and my life. “All complaints were made in good faith and there was no motive to destroy the image of anyone. Based on the complaints, the Police commenced investigation and made some arrests. “On the 29th of April, 2017, the Police, represented by one CSP (Chief Superintendent of Police) Jimoh Moshood, Force Public Relations Officer, addressed a press conference at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, wherein the general public were informed on the progress made in the investigation of the assassination attempt on my life.” Melaye quoted Jimoh Moshood as saying in a video record from the press conference said to have been attached to the petition that: “After 10 days of painstaking and sustained surveillance – that is between 16th April, 2017 – 25th April 2017 – (we) successfully arrested six members of the vicious and notorious hired assassins gang responsible for the attack and attempted assassination on the life of Senator Dino Melaye which was carried out on the 15th April, 2017 at his residence in Iyala, Ijumu Local Government of Kogi State. “Taofeek Isah (one of the suspects) is the Chairman of Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State where Senator Dino Melaye comes from. According to investigation so far, he was discovered to be the mastermind that executed the attempted assassination on Senator Dino Melaye. “He was alleged to have directed one Abdul Mumini, aka Iron, now at large who was his personal assistant…” Melaye added: “As we speak, some of the arrested people have been charged and are currently standing trial at the Kabba High Court, Kogi State. “I was bewildered when I got wind of the fact that the Federal Republic of Nigeria, through the police, filed a two count charge, with charge No: CR/106/18, dated the 31st of January 2018, accusing me of allegedly deliberately giving false information with intent to mislead the police and for making false statement of facts.” He said following the development, he briefed his lawyers who accompanied him to court and secured his bail after he was arraigned on March 1, 2018, before Justice Goodluck at the FCT Court 5, Maitama, Abuja. He added: “When I was ready to leave the court premises, upon the successful grant of my bail…I was shocked to discover that the entire court premises was surrounded by armed men, suspected to be members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force, acting on the instructions of the Governor of Kogi State and his cohorts to unlawfully arrest me and infringe on my right to personal liberty.” He however said he was able to leave the court premises unnoticed by the SARS men. Besides, he stated that it has since come to his knowledge that plans have been finalized in Kogi State to parade some hardened criminals in the media “who have been tutored to claim that I sponsored them and provided them with weapons and I instructed them to assassinate certain people. I will then be arrested and made to face trumped up charges.” He added: “As things stand, I live each day in constant and reasonable fear for my life, looking over my shoulders and being harassed by the named politicians. The Police are a willing tool in the hands of these politicians. “I am a law abiding citizen who voluntarily submitted myself before the FCT High Court to answer to charges which I know are unsustainable. “However, the situation I am in right now gives me reason to believe that the law enforcement agencies, particularly the police, are in cohorts with my political enemies and can even go to the extent of terminating my life extra judicially. “I therefore seek your intervention in the circumstances to ensure that my fundamental human rights which both Nigeria and your countries are party to are guaranteed and my life protected”, he stated.