The police authotities are desperate to block Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi, APC) from contesting 2019 elections, Senate President Bukola Saraki says on Sunday as the siege on the senator’s Abuja residence entered a third day.
The police invaded the Maitama Abuja residence of the opposition lawmaker saying they wanted to arrest him for culpbale homicide.
The police have accused the senator of involvment in the shooting of an officer in July 2018.
Melaye’s whereabouts could not be ascertained, but he has promised to surrender himself to the police this week.
On Saturday, the inavding cops cut off the electricity supply to the Melaye’s residence.
The siege continued on Sunday when the cops fired tear-gas canisters into the senator’s compound.
The policemen reportedly fired several shots of the canisters with the view to forcing out the senator, whom they believe is hiding inside the building.
Saraki, who reacted through his spokesperson, Yusuph Olaniyonu, condemned the action of the police, describing Ibrahim Idris, the inspector-general of police, as the worst head of the force in history.
“The general belief is that this is aimed at keeping Melaye out of circulation so that he would not participate in the general election in February,” he said.
“The manner of invasion on his house is highly suspicious. This same man has been charged with sundry and needless allegations and he has attended the various court sessions. He is also a candidate in the coming elections and therefore have no reason to run away from the country.
“He was also present in the senate for plenary, committee meetings and oversight functions till the Senate went on recess on December 20, 2018. Though the police in their statement claim that there was a request to the clerk of the national assembly (CNA) inviting Senator Melaye to report to the police, my enquiry from the CNA showed that he had no such letter.
“If there was an offence allegedly committed in July and the police waited till now, we do not see the urgency in the need to arrest him about six weeks to the election in which he is a candidate. He could have been invited to report to the police on Monday.
“This desperation to haul him in is beyond normal. This same IGP who refused to honour the invitation of the senate for him to give information on the security situation in the country and rushed to the court to seek protection of his rights is now violating the rights of other people. In the same manner, a senate resolution to the effect that his security personnel that were withdrawn should be reinstated has not been obeyed.
“This method of digging out some old charges and allegations to arrest and incarcerate political opponents has presented this current Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Kpotum Idris, as the most partisan head of the Nigerian police ever in the history of this country. We have continued to call on the security agencies to steer clear of partisanship and be professional in their activities.”