â€¢ We have no problem with senator, says Kogi govt
By Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja
The embattled senator representing Kogi West senatorial district of Kogi State,Â Dino Melaye, has said he did not flee the country, rather, that the state Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, and the Nigeria Police were planning to kill him.Â Â
Melaye has been accused by the police of allegedly sponsoring thugs to disrupt general election in the state in 2019.
In a statement issued by the senator of which a copy was made available to THISDAY in Lokoja yesterday, he stated that he ordinarily wanted to ignore the antics of the state governor and the Nigeria Police, which has openly taken side in the state political crisis, â€œsave for the latest but coordinated lies in the garb of exclusive news by the notorious online blackmailer.â€
Â He noted that he did not flee Nigeria and have no reason to flee â€œmy country leaving behind my family as the online medium wants Nigerians to believe.Â â€œThe lies in the online report is nothing but to cause serious disharmony in the Senate and among united majority senators, who are resolute in defending democracy and its institutions no matter whose ox is gored.â€
Â According to him, for the avoidance of doubt, he did not receive any court summon either in person or by proxy in his house or office for him to appear on March 28 as being insinuated by the police regarding the latest allegation against him.Â
â€œLast Mondayâ€™s stage-managed parade of crime suspects in Lokoja by the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Jimoh Moshood, where a suspect was tutored to implicate me is just a continuation and expansion of the police attempt to have me arrested at all cost and ultimately kill me.Â Â
â€œThe public will recall that on March 1, 2018, when the federal government arraigned me for allegedly giving â€œfalse informationâ€ to the police in a case of failed assassination plot against me, at the FCT High Court in Maitama, Abuja, SARS operatives from Kogi State Police Command laid siege on the court premises in order to prevent me from enjoying my bail with the intention to kidnap me to Lokoja to be poisoned, although it turned out to be another failed attempt on my life.Â
â€œIt is worrisome that the police headquarters has got itself entangled in the state political crisis and has taken side.Â Â â€œIt is however bizarre and unprecedented that Moshood will have to travel to Lokoja last Monday in order to act a script written by Bello.Â Â
â€œA discerning mind will ask that how many times has Moshood travel to Sokoto, Enugu or Lagos State to parade suspects on behalf of a Police Commissioner?Â
â€œIt has become expedient for me to issue this statement to the public and to let you know that I have taken the matter up with the international community in order to report this undue intimidation and harassment.Â Â
â€œLet me reiterate here for the umpteen times that no amount of intimidation, blackmail, arrests or threats will stop me from championing the cause of the masses.Â However, Moshood in a statement issued recently called on the senator to appear before court in Lokoja next Wednesday to face charges leveled against him.
However, the Kogi State GovernmentÂ has said as far as they are concerned, they have no problem with Melaye.Â
The Director General of Media and Publicity to the state governor, Mr.Â Kingsley Fanwo, while reacting to Melayeâ€™s allegations that the police and state government wanted to kill him, said it was the police that sent him invitation for questioning based on their investigations.Â
Fanwo said: â€œHe should face the issue and leave the state governor out of the issues surrounding his face-off with the police.Â
Â â€œThe governor is a law-abiding citizen of Nigeria who would not involve himself in such criminality. Home or abroad, no organisation has ever indicted the governor of such crime. He has respect for human life.Â He noted that he did not believe these issues are as complex as the senator wants the world to believe. â€œIf any law-abiding citizen is invited for questioning, he or she should go and give his or her own side of the story to the police.â€Â
He asked what has the governor got to do with that?
â€œCriminals were nabbed by the police and those criminals disclosed the person behind the supply of arms to them. The simple thing to do here is for him prove his case and leave the governor out of it.Â â€œOn our part as a government, we are pleased that our anti-crime efforts are yielding fruits. Bello is committed to ensuring the safety of all Kogites and Kogi residents. That is his primary responsibility to the people of the state,â€ the governorâ€™s aide stated.