Members of Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) have advised the Senator representing Kogi West senatorial district, Dino Melaye, to end the police siege on his home by turning himself in to the operatives.
BMO, in a statement by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, on Wednesday, said this would be the best way to end a siege that is capable of sending wrong signals about the Nigerian political elite to the local and international observers.
There has been a police blockade of Senator Melaye’s Maitama-Abuja home by operatives out to effect a warrant of arrest for what the police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, says it is a case of “Criminal Conspiracy and Attempted Culpable Homicide” against the federal lawmaker.
The statement reads: “For starters, as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dino Melaye swore to an oath to uphold the laws of the land, but for more than five months, he has failed to honour an invitation over the alleged shooting of an on-duty Police officer Sergeant Danjuma Saliu by some armed men in his convoy on July 19 2018 in Kogi State.
“This is inspite of pledging on national television few days after the incident that he would show up at the state police command to show that their account was ‘false and illogical’.
“In that interview, the Senator insisted that the police account was wrong and infact accused the police of shooting at his convoy of 20 vehicles on his way to a scheduled event.”
BMO is concerned that rather than allow the law to take its course, the Senator is resorting to pontificating.
“It is sad that at a time that Nigerians expect Senator Melaye to show a good example, he has opted to play up religious sentiment by quoting a passage in the Holy Bible that has nothing to do with the situation at hand.
“The issue at stake is the near-fatal shooting of a Police operative by men who were said to be in his convoy, so there is enough reason for him to clear his name as a federal lawmaker.”
The group wondered why the Senator failed to honour the police invitation to at least clear his name even when he had between July and December been involved in legislative duties and other activities in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“There was ample time for the Senator to clear his name especially after the Police sent a formal letter of invitation to the Clerk of the National Assembly dated July 23 and which was duly acknowledged and is now in the public domain as proof that due process was followed.
“Infact three months later, the Senator joined some leaders of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to stage a protest at the Force Headquarters.
“Pictures from the protest showed Senator Melaye, shirt unbuttoned, in a virtual confrontation with mobile police men right in front of the national police headquarters in what could be interpreted as a subtle message to the Kogi Police command.
“The other subliminal message is that members of the political elite can get away with what an average Nigerian dares not do,” it said.
BMO also hailed the police for their patience, professionalism and maturity in handling a situation that could have been tagged as a clamp down on government critic.
The group added that “It is instructive that it took the police several months to make a serious attempt to arrest the Senator, and even at that, they ensured they had a valid warrant of arrest before making a move.
“Now these operatives have in the last few days been obstructed from performing their duties under the guise that the Senator is not in his Abuja residence while the PDP and its leaders are using the opportunity to play to the gallery by seeking to ridicule one of the nation’s critical institutions.
“It would be imperative for the Senator to hand himself in for investigation and for PDP elements to allow the Police to do their job inspite of Dino Melaye’s profile in the opposition ranks.”