Senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West Senatorial District in the 8th National Assembly and the Kogi State Police Command in Kogi State have issued contrasting statements concerning alleged exchange of gunfire between security officials in the Senator’s convoy and Police personnel on duty in Lokoja.
While Senator Melaye is claiming that unknown gunmen in uniform fired at his convoy, the Kogi State Police Command said that some plain clothed armed men in the Senator’s convoy, without provocation, opened fire on the Policemen on duty, hitting one of them in the process.
The State Command has, as a result, ‘advised’ Senator Melaye to report with the “people in his convoy to the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, Lokoja to assist in the investigation.”
A statement by DSP William Ovye Aya, Police Public Relations Officer, for the Commissioner of Police states:
“The attention of Kogi State Police Command has been drawn to the allegation by Distinguished Senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West Senatorial District in the 8th National Assembly that unknown gunmen in uniform fired gun shot at the vehicle today in Kogi State. The Command wish to correct this wrong and misleading impression coming from the Senator by putting the records straight.
“Today, at about 1530hours, a team of policemen from the Command was on a routine Anti – Robbery/Kidnapping patrol along Aiyetoro Gbede – Mopa Road. During the patrol, and as it is often the practice, the team pinned down at a point at Iyah Gbede Junction, where they were observing the highway and occasionally conducting Stop and Search. It was in this process a long convoy of vehicles coming from Mopa towards Aiyetoro Gbede approached the Point. Officers of the Command at the Point flagged down the convoy. While the lead vehicle, a Toyota Hilux van, which was later discovered to be conveying officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, stopped to introduce themselves, other vehicles in the convoy dangerously zoomed off without regards to the safety of the officers on ground.
“Surprisingly, some plain clothed armed men, occupying a white Toyota Hilux van, without registration number, without provocation fired gunshots at the officers of the Anti-Robbery /Kidnapping Patrol Team. One of the officers, a Sergeant, was hit by bullet on the right part of his chest as a result of which he sustained grievous injury. The Officer is currently lying critically ill in the hospital where he has undergone a live threatening and currently recuperating. Expectedly, the policemen in self defense responded by firing back to repel the unexpected attack. Vehicles in the convoy nevertheless, drove away from the scene. It was not until the officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps were questioned that it was realized that the convoy was that of Distinguished Senator Dino Melaye.
“It is rather unfortunate that the Senator could after this dastardly act by his aides, be going around with armed men, unknown to the Command who could launch such a lethal attack on police officers in the course of their normal duty. It is more saddening that the Senator could turn around to issue misleading statements to cover up the heinous crime committed by his hired aides.
“While, the command has instituted a high powered investigation panel into the incident Distinguished Senator Melaye is hereby advised to report with people in his convoy to the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, Lokoja to assist in the investigation.”