Police Versus Dino Melaye: The True Story By Sule Meiza John

The Nigeria Police is at it again! This time and as usual the Kogi State Command is doing another hatchet job.

Senator Dino Melaye is in the news again. In the last few days, precisely since Wednesday, July 18, he was seen going from place to place commissioning his Constituency Projects with the grand finale – special thanksgiving – slated for today, Saturday, July 21, 2018 in Aiyetoro Gbede.

 

As a reporter in his entourage, it was visible that his constituents were happy but few people are not happy with these unprecedented achievements. They exhibited it by sending arsonists to vandalize a school project and as well burn down part of another one, both in Lokoja local government area.

 

An official of Kogi State government and the Police Command reacted by ‘condemning’ the act as if they were not the ones who gave out the job and provided cover for the arsonists respectively.

 

Discerning Nigerians especially Kogi West people gave them the benefit of the doubt at least because of their prompt reaction to the incidence. Alas! A leopard will never change its black spot, hence the Police couldn’t resist the temptation to get entangled into Kogi politics.

 

By the next day Thursday, Senator Melaye set out again for project commissioning to continue where he stopped the previous day Wednesday. He was stopped from accessing Isanlu, the headquarters of Yagba East local government for no reason. The local government-owned Grader was used in blocking the road while some people made bonfire on the road.

 

He didn’t force his way despite being provided protection by armed Civil Defence operatives and his private guards didn’t ‘shoot’ anyone because they don’t carry gun in the first place.

 

The Police thereafter changed their tactics and went for the kill this time.

 

It is important to know that before the commencement of the tour and commissioning of projects, Senator Melaye and his lawyer, Ricky Tarfa (SAN) separately wrote the Kogi Commissioner of the Police, DSS and Civil Defence, seeking for security cover but the letters were ignored by both police and DSS.

 

While Senator Melaye was returning to his hometown on Thursday in a convoy of over 20 vehicles, they ran into a detachment of the Police at about entering Aiyetoro Gbede.

 

A hilux van was in the front while Melaye’s car was second with a backup vehicle trailing immediately behind.

 

According to the Police statement late Thursday night, that it was the occupants of the last hilux van (purportedly Melaye’s armed guards) in the convoy that fired at them and got one sergent injured. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

 

The questions here are why will Melaye go about with “armed guards” having requested and got the protection of armed Civil Defence operatives and why will the Police and DSS ignored a request from the Senator in the first place if there were no premeditated plans against him?

 

Also, if according to the Police, Melaye’s private guards occupying the second to the last vehicle in a covoy of more than 20 vehicles shot at them, why would their response (fire) be targeted at Senator Melaye’s car in the far front and riddled with bullets from the owner’s corner since the purported gunshot didnt emanate from his car?

 

Apparently, they didn’t know Senator Melaye’s car is a bullet-proof car because they pumped several bullets in the direction of the car and dramatically the car pumped or bounced the bullets back in their direction.

 

Now the Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello, has ordered the withdrawal all 10 vehicles he donated to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for providing protection for Senator Dino Melaye. Is this not enough to put the pieces of the puzzle together?

 

On this same Thursday, we passed about six Military and Police checkpoints before Aiyetoro Gbede without any incident until we ran into the hitmen sent to do the hatchet job but claimed to be on a routine patrol.

 

I saw the OC SARS and OC MOPOL, one CSP Mohammed Mohammed with strong evidence of their coordination of the unprovoked attack on Senator Melaye for no reason other than taking the shine off Governor Bello.

 

This is pathetic and I’m constrained to write this diary – my eyewitness account – in order to put a lie to the false police narrative and a stop to their impunity. It’s Senator Dino Melaye today, it could be anyone tomorrow. Let’s all rise up against police partisanship and restore its neutrality for our collective good.

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