I’m Not Afraid of Going to Prison, Says Melaye


Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Capital Territory, Senator Dino Melaye, has said he is not afraid to go to prison.

Melaye who represents Kogi West senatorial district in the senate made this known in a statement which a copy was made available to THISDAY in Lokoja yesterday, drawing the attention of the upper legislative chamber to the charges filed against him by the federal government.

The government had accused Melaye of framing Chief of Staff to Governor Yahaya Bello, Edward David, in the alleged assassination attempt on his (Melaye) life.

The senator who is expected to appear before the court in March argued that those who attempted to kill him in April were paraded by the police.

He wondered why the federal government would quote the police as saying he gave false information in the naming of the suspects.

Vowing not to be intimidated, Melaye said he would continue to criticise any public office holder.
Melaye said: “Edward is the chief of staff to Kogi State governor, and Taofeek is the caretaker Chairman of Ijumu Local Government Area of the state. I stated this in my statement to the Nigerian police.

“As a result of that information, they immediately moved to the residence of Taofeek where ammunition was recovered immediately that morning. If naming suspects now becomes misinformation, I am wondering. The police swung into action. The tactical command of the Inspector General of Police (IG) swung into action.

“Ten days after, they apprehended six out of the 10 that came to kill me. Not only were they apprehended, the spokesperson of the Nigerian police paraded them at a national press conference. “Not only were they paraded, the spokesperson of the Nigerian police informed Nigerians that all the riffles used for their missions have to be recovered by the police. Not only was the ammunition recovered, confessional statements were made by those who were directly involved and they also invited this same Taofeek.

“I shall continue to speak. I shall continue to ask questions. I shall continue to criticise any public officer including the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“I have conquered fear; I am not afraid of the prison. The last administration arrested me 14 times; Sani Abacha’s government detained me. Ibrhim Babangida’s government detained me. I am not afraid of the prison. It is built because of human beings but we will not stop speaking the truth.

“In an unjust society, silence is a crime. The battle to bring Nigeria back on track from these criminals in power is a battle of no retreat no surrender, and I am ready to fight the federal government on this matter with the last drop of my blood.”