Police nab armed thugs linked to Melaye


It’s a plot to shut me up –Senator



Police yesterday said they had arrested two suspected criminals who claimed to be working with the lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District in the Senate, Dino Melaye. This is contained in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), ACP Jimoh Moshood.

The FPRO gave the names of the suspects as Kabiru Saidu aka Osama (31) from Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State but based in Anyagba (leader of the gang) and Nuhu Salisu aka Small (25). Moshood said the arrest was possible through the crime prevention and control strategies adopted by the Force throughout the country in the recent time to reduce violent crimes and other criminality.

He said: “Working on actionable intelligence, the Kogi State Police Command personnel and Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) trailed and arrested the two suspects listed above after a gun battle with the police team that lasted for some hours on the 19th MelayeJanuary, 2018 at Ogojueje in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State.”

According to him, during investigation, the suspects confessed to the various criminal roles they played in the commission of several kidnappings and armed robbery in different towns across Kogi State and its environs for which they have been on the wanted list of the police for more than two years now. Moshood said during interrogation, Saidu and Salisu further confessed they were political thugs recruited by some mischievous politicians in Kogi State to cause mayhem, and disruption of peace, and destruction of lives and property in the state.

He said: “They also confessed to belong to the gang of a dreaded and vicious kidnap for ransom gang under a gang leader (name withheld) whose whereabouts are being investigated by the Force. The two suspects were identified by some of their victims.” Saidu said he had been working as a political thug for Alhaji Mohammed Audu, a politician in the state.

Moshood said: “They said Alhaji Mohammed Audu invited him (Saidu) to Abuja and introduced him to Senator Dino Melaye and they met on Airport Road, Abuja inside Senator Dino Melaye’s car in the month of December, 2017. “The suspect further confessed that Senator Dino Melaye told him that they should start working for the senator as his political thugs and they should recruit and train more other thugs to work for him in preparation toward 2019 general elections to enable him (Senator Dino Melaye) to challenge his political opponents and disorganise Kogi State.

“The gang leader, Kabiru Saidu aka Osama further confessed to the police investigative team that Senator Dino Melaye handed over a bag containing the following firearms one AK47 rifle, two pump action guns and N430,000 to share with his boys.” But reacting to the allegation, Melaye said the move was an attempt by the Kogi State government to shut him up and prevent him from speaking the truth about governance in the state. The lawmaker added that he contested and won elections to the House of Representatives and the Senate without working with political thugs, saying the plan had been exposed about six weeks ago.

He said: “This is an attempt to shut me up and stop me from speaking the truth but they have failed. It is an orchestrated lie by the governor and the police. I have tweeted about six weeks ago that they want to set me up because I got an ‘Intel’ from Government house when they met to set me up. “You can see the conflicting statements by the criminals.

I heard one said I gave two AK47 (rifles) and pump action (gun), while the other said I gave only one rifle and that I gave N430,000 to train militia, and that I met them on Airport Road in December 2017 but they didn’t give a date and time.

“I don’t know anybody; I have not involved myself with any thugs. I became member, House of Representatives and Senate without…, if this is an attempt to shut me up they have failed.” But the FPRO said that consequent on the indictments and criminal confessions against Melaye by the principal suspect, Saidu, the police wrote a letter dated March 2 addressed to the Senate President, informing and requesting him to release Melaye to report to Commissioner of Police, Kogi State Command on March 7 to answer to criminal offences levelled against him, to enable the police to carry out a discreet investigation into the confessions of the principal suspect against Melaye.

He said: “But Senator Dino Melaye has refused to honour the police invitation till date. “A case of criminal conspiracy and unlawful possession of prohibited firearms has therefore been filed by the Nigeria Police Force at Federal High Court, Lokoja on 16th March, 2018 against the two suspects mentioned above, Senator Dino Melaye and Alhaji Mohammed Audu, who is also a suspect in the matter and is now on the run.” The FPRO listed items recovered from the suspects as two AK47 rifles, five pump action guns, two locally-made pistols with one using AK47 ammunition and a hip of charms.

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