By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- CHAIRMAN, Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Senator Dino Melaye, APC, Kogi West, has said that he has been vindicated by the action of the International Police Organisation (INTERPOL) which explained why it has refused to do the bidding of the Nigeria Police by placing him on its Watch List.
According to Melaye, the position of the INTERPOL has validated his assertions and belief that the latest allegations against him were politically motivated by the Kogi State government and its agents, adding, ” hence he has been vindicated from outside Nigeria since INTERPOL does not engage in “politically-motivated operations”.
In a statement Tuesday night by his Special Adviser, Media, Gideon Ayodele, the Senator said that the Kogi State Command of the local police had last week declared him wanted over pre-meditated and spurious allegations of illegal possession of firearms and arming political thugs.
The statement read, “There is no doubt that the position of the INTERPOL validates his assertions and belief that the latest allegations against him were politically motivated by the Kogi State government and its agents, hence he has been vindicated from outside Nigeria since INTERPOL does not engage in “politically-motivated operations”.
“We have earlier expressed our worry regarding the institution of the Nigeria Police becoming entangled in the Kogi political crisis and its partial involvement rather than a mediator or law enforcement agency. Perhaps the message to the local police will be more lounder now that INTERPOL has refused to be dragged into local and partisan politics in Kogi State.
“We are not surprised by the INTERPOL pronouncement regarding Senator Dino Melaye because its charter forbids it, at least in theory, from undertaking interventions or activities of a political, military, religious, or racial nature or involving itself in disputes over such matters.”
The Interpol gave reasons why the senator has not been publicly placed on its watch list, saying it does not engage in politically-motivated operations.
Although Interpol, according to PREMIUM TIMES “INTERPOL examines requests by member countries to issue Red Notices to ensure compliance with INTERPOL’s constitution or rules. This includes Article 3 of INTERPOL’s Constitution, according to which it is ‘strictly forbidden for the organisation to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character,’” the agency said in response to a March 28 e-mail from PREMIUM TIMES.
“INTERPOL evaluates legal and quality compliance issues in individual cases if it becomes aware of information that may prompt reevaluation of a case,” it added.
Also, Interpol gave three reasons why a notice might not be published for an individual expected to be on its website.
“If no Red Notice is published on INTERPOL’s public website, this is either because one has not been requested or issued for that person, or the requesting country has asked that it not be made public, or the Red Notice did not meet the criteria for publication on INTERPOL’s public website,” Interpol said.
Of these three possibilities, the second about the requesting country not wanting the details to be made public may no longer apply in Mr. Melaye’s case because the police have already publicly declared that he’s wanted and placed on Interpol’s watch list.
Therefore, the unavailability of Messrs. Melaye and Audu on the Interpol’s website could either be because the police have not requested that the duo be placed on Interpol’s red notice panel, contrary to their claim, or their request failed to comply with Interpol’s Article 3 because they’re politicians.
A red notice is an alert for Interpol to locate and temporarily detain an individual pending extradition. It is issued and often published by the international crime-fighting organisation at the request of a member country or an international tribunal based on a valid national arrest warrant.