By Boluwaji Obahopo
LOKOJA—The Nigeria Police, yesterday, paraded two suspected political thugs with two AK-47 and five pump action guns allegedly working for the lawmaker representing Kogi West senatorial district, Senator Dino Melaye.
The two suspects— Kabiru Saidu aka Osama, 31, and Nuhu Salisu aka Small, 25, were paraded by the Police Force Headquarters Public Relation Officer, Mr. Jimoh Moshood, at the Kogi State Police Command in Lokoja.
According to him, they were arrested after a gun battle with a Police team, which lasted for several hours on January 19.
However, reacting to the allegations, Senator Melaye said it was an orchestrated lie by the governor and the Police to shut him up, and that he had never seen the arrested suspects.
Meanwhile, parading the two kidnappers alleged to have been supplied guns and ammunition by Senator Melaye, Moshood said the Senator had been ignoring Police invitations to clear his name from the allegation.
Moshood said the two suspects, Osama and Small, were members of a notorious gang behind numerous kidnapping and robbery cases in the state.
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 after a gun battle with the Police team on January 19 at Ogojueje in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State.
“During investigation, they confessed to several kidnappings and robberies in different towns across the state and its environs for which they have been on the wanted list of the Police for more than two years.
“During interrogation, they further confessed they were political thugs recruited by some mischievous politicians in Kogi to cause mayhem, disruption of peace, and destruction of lives and properties in the state.”
‘Saidu fingered Dino Melaye’
Continuing, the Police spokesman said: “They also confessed to belong to the gang of a dreaded and vicious kidnap-for-ransom gang under a gang leader whose whereabouts is being investigated.
“According to the gang leader, Kabiru Saidu, he has been working as a political thug for a politician, who introduced him to Senator Dino Melaye and they met at Airport Road, Abuja inside Senator Melaye’s car in December 2017.
“The suspect further confessed that Senator Dino told him to start working for him as a political thug and they should recruit and train more thugs to work for him in preparations towards 2019 general election to enable him challenge his political opponents and disorganise Kogi State.”
Moshood said the suspects further confessed that Dino handed over a bag containing one AK-47 rifle, two pump action and N430,000 for them to share.
He said a case of criminal conspiracy and unlawful possession of prohibited firearms had been filed by the Police against the two suspects and Senator Dino Melaye.
It’s Kogi govt’s frame-up—Melaye
Meanwhile, Senator Dino Melaye in his reaction to the allegations, said it was a frame-up and an orchestrated attempt by the state government to discredited him.
The Senator said he had never seen the suspects in his life and did not have anything to do with them.
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 Senator noted that he contested and won elections into the House of Representatives and the Senate without working with political thugs, saying the plan had been exposed about six weeks ago.
Melaye’s words: “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 it six weeks ago; that they want to set me up because I got a tip-off 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 AK-47 and pump action, 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 thug. I became member House of Representatives and Senate without thug. If this is an attempt to shut me up they have failed.”