Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja
Embattled Kogi State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ali Janga, who was recalled to Abuja last week and replaced with Sunday Ogbu has been reinstated as the stateâ€™s police commissioner.
Janga was recalled to Abuja by the Inspector General of Police (IG) Ibrahim Idris following a jailbreak at a police station in Lokoja, the state capital, by some criminal suspects.
Owing to the jailbreak, the police commissioner and 13 others officers were recalled to Abuja for questioning.
This is as Senator Dino Melaye, who was declared wanted by the police for allegedly supplying firearms to the suspects who escaped from police custody, showed up Thursday in Lokoja to attend the eighth day Fidau prayer for the Deputy Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, the late Buba Jibril.
The spokesman for the Kogi Police Command, Mr. William Ayah, who confirmed the reinstatement of Janga Thursday, said he returned to his office on April 3 on the order of the IG.
According to the command spokesman, Janga had met the one-week ultimatum given to him by the IG to re-arrest the suspects, hence his reinstatement.
Ayah also said another 13 persons who aided the escape of the suspects had been arrested in Lokoja.
According to him, those arrested included the operators of commercial tricycles who ferried the suspects after their escape and the owners of the houses where they slept after the suspects absconded from police custody.
He said all of them would be charged to court after the conclusion of investigations.
Janga, on March 28, announced that six suspects, including Kabiru Seidu aka Osama and Nuhu Salisu, who had named Melaye as their firearms supplier, had escaped from the custody of the police in Lokoja.
The development forced the IG to remove Janga as the police commissioner and named Ogbu as his replacement.
But in a new twist to the bizarre case, Melaye, who was declared wanted by the police for allegedly supplying the firearms to the suspects, Thursday showed up in Lokoja to attend the eighth day Fidau prayer for the late Buba Jibril.
The senator, who was in the company of Senate President Bukola Saraki, was received by a representative of the Kogi police commissioner at the airstrip in Obajana, where the private jet conveying the Senate President and his delegation landed.
It was gathered that Melaye also shook hands with the representative of the police commissioner at the airstrip before heading for the Fidau prayer.
As Melaye alighted from the sport utility vehicle of the Senate President at the event at Islamia Primary School Kabawa, he raised his two fingers to acknowledge cheers from the crowd as â€œSai Dinoâ€ rented the air.
Some members of the Kabawa community also provided their own local security for the senator apart from those of the Senate President.
Before the prayer session, however, there was some mild drama when loyalists of Governor Yahaya Bello, who had hung their banner before supporters of the senator, tried to stop the latter from hanging Melayeâ€™s banner very close to that of governorâ€™s group.
But the master of ceremonies quickly interjected, warning that the occasion was a prayer session for the late Buba and not for politicking. His intervention averted an incident that could have turned violent, as there has been no love lost between Bello and Melaye, with the latter often accusing the governor of his travails with the police.
The crowd at the eighth day prayer, nonetheless, was unprecedented as the list of dignitaries included the immediate past governor of the state Idris Wada and his former deputy Yomi Awoniyi; majority leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Hon. Emmanuel Egwu, representing Idah federal constituency; Hon. James Faleke, representing Ikeja Federal Constituency; Hon. Kabiru Ajana, representing Okehi/Adavi federal constituency; and Hon. Hassan Omale, representing Ankpa/Omala/Olamaboro federal constituency.
The Kogi governor was represented by his deputy Simon Achuba.