President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to direct the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim K. Idris, to urgently withdraw the police personnel currently laying siege to Senator Dino Melaye’s residence, and save the lawmaker’s life from danger.
The Abuja home of the Kogi-born lawmaker has been under police siege in the last 72 hours or thereabout.
While all efforts to get him arrested have not yielded the desired result, the security agents, who as at the time of this report, still laid siege to the Maitama residence of the lawmaker, according to Ozekhome, allegedly disconnected both electricity and water supply to his house.
But raising the alarm in a statement titled “Nigeria in the throes of anarchy,” on Sunday in Abuja, Melaye’s counsel, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, said the entire conduct of the police leaves much to be desired.
While recalling the many travails of the lawmaker in the hands of the police, he told president Buhari that this was not the time to be silent on issues of this nature.
“Senator Dino Melaye was charged in different hierarchies of the Nigerian court, within five months, over six times, over trumped-up charges. Some of these frivolous charges have either been withdrawn by the police, or struck out by the court.
“It is highly condemnable that the recent attacks on Senator Melaye’s life appear obviously state-sponsored by his political enemies using the instrumentality of a willing police, to prevent him from campaigning and thus frustrate his political ambition of returning to the Senate.
“The entire conduct of the Nigeria Police Force thus far, leaves much to be desired. It is compromised, despicable, selective, arbitrary and amounts to a brazen abuse of office and repression of a Nigerian citizen, Senator Dino Melaye, whose fundamental rights, they have serially trampled upon. The life of Senator Dino Melaye is now in grave danger.
“The last time we checked, Nigeria is supposed to be operating a constitutional democracy, and not fascism or under a police state. This is no time for a “golden silence” by Mr. President, who is the ultimate supervisor of the Nigeria Police Force under sections 214 and 215 of the 1999 Constitution,” Ozekhome added.
He recalled that: “On Friday, the 28th of December, 2018, a team of plain-clothed policemen, stormed Senator Dino Melaye’s house at No 11 Sangha Street, Maitama, Abuja, and barricaded the entire street before eventually forcefully gaining entry into his compound. The said plain-clothed policemen proceeded to beat up Melaye’s security whom they immediately handcuffed. They also arrested the cook and other domestic staff in Senator Dino’s residence.
“His relatives approached the head of the said security to find out why they were treating Dino, a serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in such high-handed and disdainful manner.
“The head of the rampaging police while declining any specific answer, told Dino’s relatives that they came from the Commissioner of Police FCT, on whose instructions, they were acting. Dino Melaye’s brothers demanded to see the warrant of arrest if they had any, but the police refused to show any such warrant. The police also declined to disclose the reason why they are laying siege on the house of a sitting Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The Nigeria Police led by the Commissioner of Police FCT, proceeded to do the unthinkable; they disconnected electricity supply to the premises of Senator Dino Melaye, thereby putting his life and health in grave danger. They have also disconnected water supply to his home thus denying him access to water, a concomitant to the basic constitutional right guaranteed by section 33 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as altered.”