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Gunmen were sent to kill me, not kidnap – Dino Melaye alleges as he narrates his story

Valentine Chinyem

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The lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Dino Melaye, has briefed journalists in Abuja on his ordeal and how he managed to escape from his alleged abductors.

He said, those who attacked him had no intention of kidnapping him but were rather sent to assassinate him.

He said he was on his way to Lokoja on Thursday from Abuja for a court appearance, when the attackers who drove in a white Toyota hilux and a Siena van, accosted his vehicle shortly after passing Gwagwalada, just some kilometres from Abuja.

While recalling he saw the vehicles with some men inside trailing him the previous day, when he went for his court appearance at the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Apo, Abuja.

“They were exactly the same vehicle that were used to attack me on Thursday morning,” he said.

However, in a bid to disguise his movement to Lokoja, he made his brother drive in a separate vehicle, while he drove in a vehicle not previously known with him.

“I was going in a totally different vehicle, but I asked my brother to drive behind me in an SUV as a back-up,” he said. “But I was shocked to see the attackers run into the middle, creating wall between my brother and I before attacking me.”

He said his brother was able to make a U-turn, since he was not the target of his attackers.

The embattled senator said his attackers tried to open fire on his vehicle, only to realise it was bullet-proof, they however, were not disgouraged as they made another attempt to force him out of his vehicle, which is to burn him with the vehicle.

In his words, “When I realised that they wanted to burn my vehicle, I quickly opened the car and ran into the bush. I had to run for my life. It was the grace of God that made me to escape. When I got into the bush, I climbed a tree and stayed there. While on the tree, I saw two of the policemen coming to look for me, but they didn’t know I was on the tree. I was in the bush for 11 hours.

“My brother that was in one of the vehicles didn’t know what happened, so he had to raise the alarm that I was kidnapped. He went to the Gwagwalada police station and reported the matter.”
. At first, they wanted to act, but when one of them made a call, they started tossing my brother up and down

“They then asked him to go and wait for them at the scene, that they would join him. But he waited for more than 45 minutes, they didn’t come. So, it’s not true for the police to say that none of my family members reported the matter.”

While denying claims that he staged his own kidnap to avoid appearing in court, he said; “Alex Izinyon is the prosecutor and he had written to my lawyer to inform him that he would not be in court on Thursday and that the judge should adjourn the matter.”

“So why would I not want to be in court when I know that nothing would happen to me?” he asked.

He went further, “I have been attending all previous court hearings. I have been told that the prosecutor wanted an adjournment. I have been granted bail long ago which I continue to enjoy. So why would I not want to go to court that day?”

“There is no sense in that claim. It is completely against logic,” Mr Melaye said.

He however, feels his ordeal are the handiwork of the police and Kogi State governor, “If anything happens to me, the Nigerian Police and Governor Yahaya Bello should be held responsible.”

He said the Federal Government has refused to restore his security detail, leaving him vulnerable.

“I went through four assassination attempts as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but the President remained silent. Definitely, I’m going to call the attention of the international community.”

“They withdrew my security since April 22, and I wrote the police to restore my security, but nothing was done. As a senator, I deserve security personnel around me. In fact, even as an ordinary citizen, I deserve security.”

“I also asked for security from the Civil Defence authorities, but they refused to provide it because of the powers that be,” he said.

While assuring that he will keep speaking against the government, no matter how much they tried to silence him, he said; “If I die today, 100 Dinos will rise tomorrow and take my place.”

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