The Kogi State Police Command has denied report by Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi west district at the National Assembly, Thursday, that unknown gunmen in uniform (police,SARS and military) fired gun shots at the vehicle just as its asked the Senator and the people in his convoy to report to the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, Lokoja.
Sen. Dino Melaye
Senator Dino Melaye had tweeted that he thanked God for sparing his life once again as over 20 bullets holes were on his jeep and alleging that a combination of police, SARS and military were the one responsible for the bullets holes.
I thank God for spearing my life once again. Over 20 bullets holes on my jeep. Combination of police,SARS and military. God i thank you.
— Senator Dino Melaye (@dino_melaye) July 19, 2018
But the Kogi State Police Command in a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer, DSP William Ovye Aya, said that it was saddening that Senator Dino could turn around the issue misleading and covering up the heinous crime committed by his hired aides who launched a lethal attack on police officers in the course of their normal duty.
Putting the records straight the Kogi Police said that on ‘Thursday at about 1530hours, a team of policemen from the Command was on a routine Anti – Robbery/Kidnapping patrol along Aiyetoro Gbede – Mopa Road and during the patrol, and as it is often the practice, the team pinned down at a point at Iyah Gbede Junction, where they were observing the highway and occasionally conducting Stop and Search.
‘It was in this process a long convoy of vehicles coming from Mopa towards Aiyetoro Gbede approached the Point.
‘Officers of the Command at the Point flagged down the convoy. While the lead vehicle, a Toyota Hilux van, which was later discovered to be conveying officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, stopped to introduce themselves, other vehicles in the convoy dangerously zoomed off without regards for the safety of the officers on ground.
The Police further said that ‘surprisingly, some plain clothed armed men, occupying a white Toyota Hilux van, without registration numbers, without provocation fired gunshots at the officers of the Anti-Robbery /Kidnapping Patrol Team.
‘One of the officers, a Sergeant, was hit by bullet on the right part of his chest as a result of which he sustained grievous injury.
‘The Officer is currently lying critically ill in the hospital where he has undergone a live threatening and currently recuperating.
‘Expectedly, the policemen in self defense responded by firing back to repel the unexpected attack. Vehicles in the convoy nevertheless, drove away from the scene.
‘It was not until the officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps were questioned that it was realized that the convoy was that of Distinguished Senator Dino Melaye.
The police said it was ‘rather unfortunate that Senator Dino could after this dastardly act by his aides, be going around with armed men, unknown to the Command who could launch such a lethal attack on police officers in the course of their normal duty. It is more saddening that the Senator could turn around to issue misleading statements to cover up the heinous crime committed by his hired aides.
‘While, the command has instituted a high powered investigation panel into the incident Distinguished Senator Melaye is hereby advised to report with people in his convoy to the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, Lokoja to assist in the investigation’
In another development suspected political thugs on Wednesday destroyed some constituency projects of Senator Dino at two Locations in Lokoja metropolis, few hours to their inauguration.
One of the projects, a block of four furnished classrooms at Government Girls Secondary School, Sarkin-Noma, was torched in the early hours of Wednesday.
Speaking with newsmen, a female student of the school (name withheld) said she got to school early this morning (Wednesday) to meet the fully-furnished classroom on fire.
She said students, who were in the last week of their final examinations, were turned back as a result of the incident as chairs, desks, boards and all wooden furniture, as well as electrical appliances, were burnt to ashes.
Also at UBE Junior Secondary School (JSS), Lokongoma in Lokoja, the iron windows, ceilings, white boards and electrical fittings, including ceiling fans in the block of four classrooms, were destroyed.
When visited , a detachment of men of the Nigeria Police were seen in and around the school premises to provide security against further attack on the project.
The attack on the (Sen. Dino Melaye Constituency Project FCT/TB/2016(2)001) Lokongoma project, was said to have been carried out at about 2:30 am Wednesday by unknown group of youthful thugs, forcing the civilian security guards to run for their lives.
Speaking on behalf of the government when he visited the site of the burnt facilities, Mr Kingsley Fanwo, Director General, Media and Publicity to the state governor, said state government had directed security operatives to fish out the arsonists.
“Irrespective of who is doing the project, the fund is from the government; weather it is the executive or legislature, such projects should rather be applauded, and not destroyed,” he said.
Mrs Rosemary Osinkoya, the state Commissioner for Education, who also visited the sites, said government would not rest until the perpetrators were fished out and brought to book.
“Exams are ongoing and these building has been in use since January 2018. We expect that people will respect the sanctity of education. This act is masterminded and not accidental”, she said.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after inspecting the extent of damage on the facilities, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations), Mr Monday Kuryas, said the long arm of the law would catch up with the perpetrators, sooner or later.
He said the arson and other destruction were pre-meditated as the arsonists braced with tyres which they used in burning down the building and damaging some other structures.
Kuryas said the police had commenced investigation into the matter and would soon apprehend the perpetrators.
It was gathered that a faceless thuggery group had on Tuesday issued leaflets warning the senator to forget about the scheduled constituency projects inauguration or face their wrath.