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29 Dec 2018

Police invade Melaye’s residence, arrest domestic workers

Scores of armed policemen on Friday invaded the Abuja residence of the lawmaker representing Kogi West in the National Assembly, Senator Dino Melaye.

The invasion of Melaye’s mansion located at 11 Sangha Street, off Mississippi Avenue, Maitama, Abuja,  took place just after midday.

The policemen,  who arrived at the house in six patrol vehicles,  entered the compound after allegedly beating a private security guard for arguing with them.

Addressing journalists outside the building, Melaye’s younger brother, Moses,  said the policemen did not tender any search warrant or an arrest warrant before invading the compound.

He said, “I met the senior officer in charge of the operation and asked for the arrest or search warrant, but he simply went  away.”

But speaking to one of our correspondents on the telephone, Melaye,  who claimed he was outside Abuja, stated that he heard about the invasion, which he claimed was  “an attempt by the Kogi State Government to destroy me”.

The lawmaker said he captured the activities of the policemen through the hidden cameras he installed in his compound and the street.

He stated that the police had withdrawn his security aides, thereby exposing him to danger.

He promised to make himself available for questioning by the police in Abuja if invited.

He said, “I am outside Abuja right now, but I understand that the police laid siege to my house and forced their way into the compound. My domestic staff were beaten and arrested.

“This is what I have been crying out about. There is a deliberate attempt by the Kogi State Government to kill me. I have since released this credible information to the public.”

Melaye added, “I have written several letters to the Inspector-General of Police without any action taken. “My passport is right now with the police. I have a court order that says it should be released to me but that order was ignored by the police.

“My police security detail has been withdrawn since April just to expose me to danger. The senate by resolution asked the police to restore my security detail but the IG has refused to do that till today.

“The same SARS from Kogi State that shot at me are the same people that I saw in the photographs of those who invaded my compound today.

“I am a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I am not running away. If there is a formal invitation to me in Abuja here,  not in Kogi, I will honour it. The police have so far arraigned me in seven courts over this issue.

“Any arraignment they are going to do now will be number eight. I am not afraid of being arraigned in any court because I know that my hands are clean.

“I have not committed any crime, atrocity and offence. I know my God that I serve will deliver me but I will never compromise.”

Asked if he believed the police planned to inject him as he earlier claimed, the embattled senator said the withdrawal of his security aides and his arraignment had confirmed that evil was being planned against him.

But the spokesman for the police, Jimoh  Moshood, in a statement said Melaye was needed for questioning over the alleged shooting of a policeman,  Sgt. Danjuma Saliu,  by his private guards while on official duties along Aiyetoro Gbede-Mopa road in Kogi State.

Moshood said, “The above offence was committed by Melaye and his armed thugs in Kogi State on July 19, 2018 when they shot and wounded Saliu. The police officer  has  yet to recover from the gunshot injury he sustained during the attack and still in intensive care.”

He said the force had written the Clerk of the National Assembly for Melaye to report at Kogi State Police Command,  Lokoja, to answer to the offences against him “but he has bluntly refused to report himself to the police”.

The force spokesman said the police would continue to wait at the lawmaker’s residence until he surrendered.

Policemen were still at the lawmaker’s residence as of the time of filing this report.

Melaye earlier  on Friday had alleged on Twitter that over 20 policemen who came in two Hilux trucks forcefully entered his compound to plant guns in his cars.

Melaye through his verified Twitter handle, @dino_melaye,  claimed that he videoed the policemen while trying to put some guns in some of the cars he parked in his compound.

Meanwhile, the Coalition of United Political Parties has described the raid on Melaye’s home by policemen as tyranny taken too far.

The coalition’s first national spokesperson, Imo Ugochinyere, said this in a statement.

The statement read, “This move to arrest him is obviously not unconnected with the planned protest being allegedly anchored by Dino Melaye against the unconstitutional plot to extend the tenure of the Inspector-General of Police.”

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