The police and Dino Melaye



Eventually, the senator representing Kogi West district, Dino Melaye walked out of his home in Maitama Abuja where he was holed up for eight full days. This scenario came about following a manhunt launched by the police just before the New Year to the effect that the senator was wanted over a case of “culpable homicide”. The police accused Melaye of avoiding addressing what he knew about an alleged shooting of a police officer somewhere in Kogi state by unknown men in the convoy of Melaye sometime mid last year. According to the police, all efforts to get the senator to respond to queries surrounding the incident proved abortive.
On the other hand, the senator on his part has washed his hands off that incident. He says he did not shoot anybody and that on the contrary he was the one that escaped being killed on the fateful day as he was attacked by thugs allegedly sponsored by agents of the Kogi state government. This has become a matter of, he says, she says! If we continue like this, we may not find any resolution to this imbroglio. In all of this there is a certain police officer that purportedly lies in a hospital bed suffering from injures he allegedly sustained on the day. He is bedridden and has been so for over five months.
It appears a resolution can only emerge after the President Muhammadu Buhari relieves the incumbent Inspector General of Police of his duties. It has become apparent that the police hierarchy appears to have scores to settle with a lot of politically exposed persons as such, may not necessarily be doing his work with utmost impartiality. Some of the actions he has taken in respect to the Dino case do not look altruistic. The IG of police seems to be continuing a reign of personal vendetta against his real or imagined enemies. That is not his work of course. His enemies should be those of the state. We cannot therefore continue to wait on him to find the courage to direct his investigative prowess on more pressing security challenges around the country.
Also, the way and manner that the police committed resources to smoking our Melaye  is good, but that raises the question, how come they find it difficult to replicate this kind of diligence in other pressing national challenges. While awaiting a favourable response, it is important we also ask the question, where is the police officer that was allegedly shot, is he dead? If not, in which hospital is he. What division was he serving and how come we have only a photo of him and the photo is in black and white. This should not become like the case of the sacked police officer who led the armed robbery in Offa that left over 30 persons dead. When the man was needed to stand trial, he was nowhere to be found. He was dead and the death was not new. He was long dead, fueling suspicions that he may have been murdered from within the investigation so he does not come to court to repudiate what the police had told the nation.
The manner in which the police pick on some members of the main opposition party, the PDP, calls for decorum on the part of the police leadership. They should realise that they cannot be there forever.
Consequently, they must work no matter whose ox is gored. But they are not doing well. They give the impression that they are out to protect the interest of the members of the ruling party. Senator Melaye has had issues with his state governor, Yahaya Bello, yet it is the senator that has always been invited for questioning. As at today, Dino has at least seven cases in various courts with the police. This sounds like witch-hunt.
Nevertheless, we urge the senator to apply himself to the rule of law. As a lawmaker and a member of the opposition, he is expected to show good conduct as an example to his constituents and the electorate at large. It is improper that he failed to report to the police when he was asked to. He had no need to say he was not at home while he eventfully walked out the same house. He lost some of his credibility and public sympathy over that. He should be careful to play at the very high level he belongs. He should not do things that inevitably drag the institution of the senate to the doldrums.


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