- Suspects arrested, arms, operational vehicle recovered
Fifteen days after some gunmen attempted to assassinate Senator Dino Melaye at his residence at Iyala, Ijumu LGA in Kogi State, the Police yesterday named the Chairman of the same Ijumu Local Government, 54-year-old Taofiq Isa as the principal suspect and mastermind of the attack.
Isa was arrested and paraded alongside five other suspects including his police orderly, ex-Sergeant Ede James, by the Police at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, according to the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP, Jimoh Moshood.
Other suspects included Ade Obage â€˜Mâ€™ 29 years; Abdullahi Isah a.k.a Eko â€˜Mâ€™ 32 years; Ahmed Ajayi â€˜Mâ€™ 45 years, and Michael Bamidele â€˜Mâ€™ 26 years.
Among the exhibits recovered from the suspects in the attack on Melaye, who is Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory, were: one Ambulance Hyundai Bus; five AK 47 rifles; one Berreta pistol; two locally made single barrel shotgun; 25 expended shells of 7.62 mm ammunition; 13 expended shells of 9mm ammunition, and twelve expended shells of gauge cartridge.
While addressing women of Kogi West Senatorial District who embarked on peaceful protest at Aiyetoro-Gbede, his country home on April 22, Melaye had accused Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello and the Ijumu LGA Chairman, Isa of a plot to assassinate him because of his stand on the plight of Kogi workers and pensioners in the state.
The Police FPRO said the arrests of the six suspects was based on the directive of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim K. Idris, who swiftly deployed a Police Special Tactical Squad (STS) team to unravel the circumstances surrounding the attack and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Moshood said, â€œConsequent on the attack by unknown gun men on Senator Dino Melaye at his residence at Iyala, Ijumu LGA in Kogi State on 15th April, 2017, at about 0030hrs, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris swiftly deployed Police Special Tactical Squad (STS) team to unravel the circumstances surrounding the attack and bring the perpetrators to justice.
â€œThe six suspects include Taofiq Isah â€˜Mâ€™ 54 years principal suspect (Chairman Ijumu LGA Kogi State); Ade Obage â€˜Mâ€™ 29 years; Abdullahi Isah a.k.a Eko â€˜Mâ€™ 32 years; Ahmed Ajayi â€˜Mâ€™ 45 years; Michael Bamidele â€˜Mâ€™ 26 years, and Ex- Sgt Ede James â€˜Mâ€™ 35 years (Orderly to Chairman of ijumu LGA Kogi State at the time of the attack).
â€œExhibits include One (1) Ambulance Hyundai Bus; five (5) AK 47 rifles; one (1) Berreta pistol; two (2) locally made single barrel shotgun; Twenty (25) expended shells of 7.62 mm ammunition; thirteen (13) expended shells of 9mm ammunition, and twelve (12) expended shells gauge cartridge. The firearms have been sent for Ballistic expert examination, test and analysis at the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department in Lagos.
â€œIn compliance with the Inspector General of Policeâ€™s directive on the attack and attempted assassination/murder of Senator Dino Melaye carried out on 15/04/2017, at Iyala, Ijumu LGA in Kogi state, the operatives of the IGP Special Tactical Squad swung into action and after ten days of painstaking surveillance between 16/04/2017 and 25/04/2017, successfully arrested six members of the vicious and notorious hired assassins gang responsible for the attack and attempted assassination /murder of Senator Dino Melaye carried out on 15/04/2017, at Iyala, Ijumu LGA in Kogi state namely:
â€œTaofiq Isah (Chairman Ijumu LGA Kogi state) according to the investigation so far, he is the mastermind of the executed attempted assassination/murder of Senator Dino Melaye. He was alleged to have directed one Abdulmumini a.k.a Iron, now at large (who was said to be his Personal Assistant) and who in turn recruited other members of the vicious and notorious hired assassins gang mentioned above.
â€œAde Obage â€˜Mâ€™ 29 years: He voluntarily informed the Police that he has the knowledge and information about the attempted assassination/murder attack of Senator Dino Melaye after the attack was carried out. He further informed the investigators that he was contacted to join the gang by Abdullahi Eko a principal suspect now in Police custody.
â€œAbdullahi a.k.a Eko â€˜Mâ€™ a native of Adavi town in Adavi LGA of Kogi State was arrested and he confessed to the crime and admitted to the criminal roles he played along with the other suspects in carrying out the attempted assassination/murder of Senator Dino Melaye. He also mentioned other members of the gang who are still at large and that they used the Ambulance Hyundai bus and Five (5) AK 47 rifles for the operation. The Ambulance was recovered behind the Ijumu LGA Secretariat in Kogi State.
â€œAhmed Ajayi â€˜Mâ€™ 45 years (local security man at the residence of Taofiq Isah a principal suspect) a prohibited locally made single barrel shotgun was recovered from his possession.
â€œMichael Bamidele â€˜Mâ€™ 26 years (local security man at the residence of Taofiq Isah a principal suspect) a prohibited locally made single barrel shotgun was recovered from his possession.
â€œEx-Sgt Ede James â€˜Mâ€™ (Orderly to Chairman of Ijumu LGA Kogi State): He is the Police orderly to the principal suspect Taofiq Isah, the Chairman of Ijumu LGA in Kogi State whose phone was used for communication for the planning of the failed assassination/murder of Senator Dino Melaye. He was arrested with a serious criminal link to another principal suspect Abdullahi a.k.a Eko who is an active member of the gang.
â€œAbdulmumini a.k.a Iron (at large) He is the personal Assistant (PA) to Chairman Ijumu LGA. Investigation so far revealed that he recruited members of the gang for the attack namely: Abdullahi a.k.a Eko arrested, Osama (SNU) at large, Lukman a.k.a General/Commander at large and China a.k.a Lie down flat at large and Adamu Aloha also at large. The suspects jointly entered the ambulance and left to Senator Dino Melaye residence at Ijumu LGA Kogi State.
â€œAbdullahi Isah a.k.a Eko the third suspect further confessed to the crime and admitted to have been sent by the Chairman of Ijumu LGA in Kogi State Hon. Taofiq Isah to go and assassinate Senator Dino Melaye. Investigation is being intensified to arrest other suspects at large. All suspects will be arraigned in court on completion of investigationâ€, Moshood added