The police have vowed to remain at Senator Dino Melaye’s residence until he turns himself in.
In a statement on Sunday, three days into the siege by the police on the Abuja residence of the Senator, the force said he is wanted for a case of criminal conspiracy and attempted culpable homicide committed on July 19, 2018.
On the said day, the police allege that Senator Melaye and “his armed thugs” attacked police personnel and shot and wounded one Sgt. Danjuma Saliu, who was attached to 37 Mobile Force (PMF) on stop and search duty along Aiyetoro Gbede, Mopa Road in Kogi State.
“The Police operatives with a duly obtained Warrant of Arrest deployed to arrest Senator Dino Melaye in his residence in Abuja will not retreat until Senator Dino Melaye surrenders himself for arrest and investigation,” the statement by Force Public Relations Officer Jimoh Moshood said.
A team of policemen had stormed Senator Melaye’s Abuja residence on Friday to arrest him, but Melaye said in a phone interview that he was not at home and will report to the police this week.
“Presently I’m outside Abuja. I’m a Senator of the Federal Republic of Abuja, I cannot run away. I will make myself available as soon as I’m back to town next week (this week). I am not a criminal, I have not done anything wrong,” he said.
The police, however, believe he is in the house. The continued siege has been criticised by allies of the Senator and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party.
Senate President Bukola Saraki is one of those who faulted the move, arguing that the timing of the action by the police and the claim that Senator Melaye had been invited were not true.
“The general belief now is that the Police action against Senator @dino_melaye is aimed at keeping him out of circulation so that he would not participate in the general elections in February 2019,” Saraki tweeted.
He added, “Though the police in their statement claim that there was a request to the Clerk of the National Assembly (CNA) inviting Senator Melaye to report to the police, my enquiry from the CNA showed that he had no such letter.”
The Police, however, insist that their action is in order, saying in Sunday’s statement: “It is on record that the Police investigators submitted a Letter of Invitation dated 23rd July, 2018, signed by the Commissioner of Police, Kogi State Police Command addressed to the Clerk, National Assembly, Abuja, inviting Senator Dino Melaye to report on 26th July, 2018 at 1100Hrs at the Kogi State Police Command, CIID, Lokoja to answer to a case of Criminal Conspiracy and Attempted Culpable Homicide against him under investigation in the Kogi State Police Command.
“The claim by the Senate President in the Media that the Police did not submit a letter of invitation to the Clerk of the National Assembly is, therefore, incorrect as can be seen on attached letter with acknowledgement stamp of the Clerk, National Assembly, Abuja “24 JUL 2018″.
“Despite this, Senator Dino Melaye bluntly refused to report himself to the Police till date.”
Also, the police attached to its statement copies of the letter it said was sent to the Clerk of the National Assembly as well as photos of the police officer who was allegedly shot.
“The Police Officer, Sgt. Danjuma Saliu, is yet to recover from the gunshot injury he sustained during the attack and still under intensive medical care in the hospital,” the police added.
“The Force will ensure a thorough investigation into this matter while making sure that the rule of law prevails and that no suspect no matter how highly placed, involved in any criminal matter escape justice.”