Seige On Melaye’s Residence : Nigerian Police Force Have Made The Life Of My Brother A Living Hell, Senator Dino’s Younger Brother
Senator Dino Melaye’s younger brother has berated the Federal Government and the Nigerian police of turning the Senator’s life into a series of nightmares.
Is @dino_melaye connected to the booing of @MBuhari at the senate? Is this a direct order from the president? If he was invited why now after 6month? Let us not forget the world is watching and we're still practicing democracy.
— Tony (@aajuya) December 31, 2018
Naija news learnt that Moses Melaye made the claim during an appearance on Politics Today , six days into the police siege on his brother’s residence in Nigeria’s capital Abuja.
“This government and the police have made the life of my brother, Senator Dino Melaye, a living hell for the last few months,” said, insisting that his family had reasons to believe that the police are out to harm his brother.
This, according to him, is because the grounds and allegations based on which the police want to arrest the Senator are “unfounded”.
Moses Melaye believes the police are out to harm his brother.
The police had stormed Senator Melaye’s residence on December 28 to arrest him for what the force said was “a case of criminal conspiracy and attempted culpable homicide committed on July 19, 2018”.
Although the Senator said he was not in the house and would make himself available to the police this week, police officers remained stationed at his house with the force insisting it won’t leave until the Senator turns himself in.
Moses, however, rejected the allegation that thugs in the convoy of the Senator had, based on his order, attacked policemen shooting one of them in the process.
He said, “The case they are raising against him happened in July. I was there in the car; the policemen shot at us. My car had over six bullets riddled on that car. How can they turn around all of a sudden that we are the ones shooting at the police?
“Our security men and policemen have been taken away since over seven-eight months ago. So, how do we now become the persons shooting? That story is not true. It is unfounded and because of the injustice on a daily basis, we cannot trust or believe anything they do. I believe that they are out to harm my brother. If not, what is the desperation?”
Senator Melaye had several run-ins with the police in 2018 and his brother said the family was used to the police showing up to search the residence.
There are two kinds of people who support persecution;those who have never suffered from persecution and those who have forgotten the persecution they once suffered.
— Eugene lee jnr (@Eugene_okes) January 2, 2019
Narrating what such a visit is usually like, he said, “I would search them before they enter the house, then when they are done I will sign that they’ve searched and they didn’t find anything and they did not steal or take anything from the house then they will leave in my very presence.”
His experience on December 28 was different, according to him.
“On this particular occasion, they went into the compound, arrested the security man, beat him up and cuffed him,” he said, adding that the same thing was done to the cleaner and the bodyguard.
Since the siege began, the Senator’s whereabouts have remained the subject of speculation. Contrary to his claims, the police believe he is in the house.On Wednesday, the Senator had posted a video to Twitter in which he avoided directly speaking about his ordeal but took subtle shots at the police and talking up his spiritual beliefs.
“They depend on chariot, horses, power, authority and guns. But I come to them in the name of Jehovah, the Lord God of hosts. I trust you. It is well, it is well, it is well,” the Senator said among other things.
@seunokin: Where is your brother Dino?
Moses Melaye: Nobody knows where he is…..
Dino is not the only one in the house. Our parents are in the house too.
Me: This Nigerian Police drama is shameful and disgraceful. Bring down the door and take Dino Melaye into custody.
— Lauretta Onochie (@Laurestar) January 2, 2019
Asked about Senator Melaye’s whereabouts, Moses said, “I cannot confirm categorically because they have not allowed anybody into that compound. They shut the house; they are the ones opening (the) gate and closing gate.”
He also accused the police of failing to realise the pain they have caused the family, saying, “There are dogs in that house, we have food, my parents are supposed to be in that house as we speak; Dino is not the only occupant of that house. There are staffs, so we don’t even know. They’ve not allowed anybody, family member or staffs access into that compound.”
‘Dramatising The Matter’ – A Lawyer’s Perspective
A lawyer and member of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Daniel Bwala, who was also on the programme accused both parties of unnecessarily dragging out the problem. Bwala says none of the parties has taken appropriate steps to end the drama
Asked for his thoughts and the position of the law, he said, “I will say that both sides are dramatising this matter. For the life of me, I don’t know why the police continue to lay siege for this number of days.
“When you have a search warrant or warrant of arrest, what you will need to do is, when you go to the place, if the person will not surrender, you break into the house, make the arrest where necessary or search and leave the place.
“In other words, in less than a day, they ought to have performed whatever they ought to have performed so that people like Dino’s brother, his mother and family members will not suffer for the sin of Dino, which by law he is presumed innocent until he is proven guilty.”
As for Dino, Mr Bwala, believes but for a love for drama, the Senator would have taken a straightforward option before him and acted differently.
He said, “Of course, everyone knows that Dino is a dramatist. Otherwise, the Constitution is clear about your fundamental rights. It states in clear terms, anybody who alleges that his right is being infringed or has been infringed or (is) about to be infringed, can approach the court and seek for the enforcement of his fundamental rights.
“In other words, Dino ought to have gone to court to get an order from the court. If the court makes an order that the police should vacate the property or (the) police should not make an arrest of Dino until the determination of the substantive matter, it will be held.
“Secondly, to evade arrest when you are aware that the law enforcement agencies are demanding your attention is in itself an offence.”
From the above, Mr Bwala believes it is clear that the nation could have been spared the drama and controversy.
He said, “When you look at the combination of the activities, you will see that on the side of the police they are dramatizing it and now they have met with a super actor so the whole thing is now becoming very unnecessary for the Nigerian nation. And I think that the Inspector-General of Police should make a decision. If you want to arrest him, you know what to do.
“Very unfortunately, when the judges’ homes were invaded by another security agency last year, it was done in how many hours? So, to lay siege in front of the house of a private citizen, stay for days and days as if he is a terrorist who has come to overthrow the Government of Nigeria is unnecessary.”
‘An Abuse Of State Power’
a spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Presidential Campaign,Mr Sani Umar, who was also on the programme, said the steps highlighted by Mr Bwala were indeed the ones meant to be taken “under normal circumstances”.
Mr Umar also described the drama playing out in Abuja is down to an abuse of power
“I will say that this is an abuse of state power,” he said.
For Umar, when it comes to the siege on Senator Melaye’s house, “the circumstance is not normal”.
This, he explained, is because “the police are “interested party in this matter. They are investigating over the shooting of one of them”.
As a result, he said, “The police are not expected to be fair and equitable. And, of course, there are other motives behind the police action. Somebody who is being looked for since July, why would it take only this time for the police to now begin to mount a manhunt for him, clearly knowing that the elections are approaching?”
Although Umar painted the action of the police as one that is condemnable, he does not consider it strange.
“This is not unusual of the police. The police have done that with Senator Ademola Adeleke. When it was almost few days to his election, they were now crafting charges of forgery and other things to take him to court,” he said.
“This is to demoralise him, to demoralise his supporters, to intimidate him and to intimidate the party in power and that is not acceptable. That is an infringement of the dignity of the person in question and the police are acting beyond the normal confines of the law.”
The police have maintained through the ongoing siege that their actions were within the confines of the law and rejected claims by Senator Melaye, his allies and the PDP that there is a sinister motive behind the siege.