Dino Melaye wants State of Emergency in Kogi as Gov. Bello calls for Senator’s trial

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Dele Momodu on a visit to Nigerian peacekeepers in Liberia in 2008

The Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye, on Tuesday told the Senate that a state of emergency should be declared in Kogi State over the spate of insecurity in state.

Melaye, while raising a point of order at the plenary, accused the Kogi State Government of being behind Monday’s attack, while challenging it to disclose the true identity of the victim.

But the Kogi State Government denied the allegations, asking the police to investigate and prosecute Melaye since the preliminary report of the police had indicted him.

A student of the Kogi State Polytechnic, Felele, Saka Seidu, was on Monday shot dead during the rally organised by Melaye in Lokoja, the state capital.

At the plenary on Tuesday, the lawmaker denied that the person who was shot dead at the venue of a protest he organised on Monday was not a student but a known suspected murderer in Kogi.

Melaye said, “I rise this morning to inform the Senate of the satanic, wicked manifestation of the Governor of Kogi State (Yahaya Bello) and his cronies. I went on a regular visit to my constituency to brief my constituents about the government’s efforts on my recall.

“On Monday, I left my village and arrived in Lokoja in company with the Department of State Services (operatives) and policemen. When I arrived in Lokoja, I called the Director of DSS that I had the intelligence that the governor brought in assassins to kill me and the DSS director provided a truck load of DSS men to accompany me.

“I also called the Commissioner of Police. I called the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of criminal investigation. The police commissioner provided me additional men. The DSS and policemen accompanied me to the gate of the Kogi State Polytechnic where I addressed a crowd.

“I just finished addressing the crowd and got off the rostrum and opened my car to go in. I just saw gunmen from the other side firing sporadically. I ran into the bulletproof jeep and I saw one particular killer who is notorious and known in Kogi State as a murderer; in fact, he beheaded somebody in Okene and it was for that reason that he was brought to SARS in Abuja. He spent months in Abuja and was released few weeks ago.

“This particular criminal was the one that came and faced my car and opened fire on my car. Fortunately, he was hitting a bulletproof car.”

The lawmaker, who cited Section 305 (3) (c) of the 1999 Constitution, sought the permission of the Senate to bring a motion asking for the declaration of a state of emergency in Kogi State.

The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary, charged the security agencies to take the case seriously.

In his reaction, the Director General of Media and Publicity at the Kogi State Government House, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, stated that since the preliminary report by the police had indicted Melaye, the senator should be invited for questioning.

He said, “The Kogi State Police Command has issued a press statement accusing Senator Dino Melaye of engaging in an unlawful rally which culminated in the crisis that led to loss of life and properties in Lokoja. It is only normal and constitutional for a senator of his standing to ensure that if he is organising any public event, he should inform the police and get a permit so that the police can guarantee the security of those at the purported rally. But he didn’t do this.

“The information reaching me shows that immediately he mounted the roof of his vehicle, he started raining insults on the governor, calling him obscene names. We are not even bothered about that. What is of concern to us is the life and properties that were lost as well as the state of panic in Kogi State, which was created by a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We are concerned because we expected the police to have acted by now by inviting him for questioning. If he organised something and that thing resulted in death of persons, which was confirmed, then the police should invite him to question him.”

Fanwo also said an audio tape allegedly containing the conversation between Melaye and a friend indicated that some persons were framed in the case of the recent attack on the lawmaker’s home.

He said while the tape had gone viral on the Internet, the police had yet to act upon it.

“He was alleged to be informing his friend that the police were in his pocket and he had framed some people. In the tape too, he said there would be no peace in Gaza, using Kogi State as the aphorism of Gaza. We think the police should dig deeper into this,” he added.

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