In what appeared like a Hollywood action movie, the Senator representing Kogi West senatorial district, Dino Melaye, yesterday jumped from a Police vehicle while being transported to his state to face criminal charges levelled against him.
Confirming the incident, the Nigeria Police Force however said after escaping from Police custody, the Senator was re-arrested at Zankli Hospital, Abuja.
Force PRO, ACP Jimoh Moshood, who stated this in a statement yesterday night explained how Senator Melaye escaped from Police custody, saying some hoodlums cornered the Police team conveying the lawmaker to Kogi State and blocked the vehicle at Area 1, Abuja before the federal lawmaker jumped through the window.
“At about 1200 hours of yesterday, Sen. Dino Melaye while in lawful custody of the Nigeria Police Force personnel and being taken for arraignment in Federal High Court Lokoja from Abuja, escaped from lawful custody when hoodlums and miscreants in two Toyota Hilux Vehicles blocked the Police vehicle conveying Senator Dino Melaye around Area 1 Round About, Abuja and in the process, the Senator jumped out of the Police vehicle through the window and was rescued from the Police men by hoodlums and miscreants to an unknown destination”, Moshood said.
The statement further noted that the Police team re-enforced and trailed Senator Melaye to Zankli Hospital, Abuja where he was re-arrested.
Noting that the Senator will be arraigned in court without further delay, Force PRO said the Police investigation team has recovered one of the Toyota Hilux vehicles used by the hoodlums and miscreants in aiding the escape of the lawmaker.
The Force PRO also noted that the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, has directed a thorough investigation into the circumstances leading to the rescue and escape of Senator Melaye from lawful custody.
It was also gathered last night that the embattled Senator has been moved to the National Hospital by police operatives in an ambulance marked NPF 221 D.
Prior to his movement to National Hospital, about 30 police personnel and ambulance were sighted at the Zankli hospital.
But the special adviser on media to Senator Melaye, Mr Gideon Ayodele, denied yesterday that the lawmaker evaded arrest by the Police.
Ayodele, in statement in Abuja, said, “For the avoidance of doubt, Sen. Melaye had never evaded police invitation before now because there was none extended to him in the first place.
“Rather, what the Police Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Jimoh Moshood had been doing was to summon the Senator through media briefings, a practice that is unconventional.”
The statement added that “he (Melaye), along with his lawyers and personal aides, were driven in his private car to the SARS office in Guzape district of Abuja, among numerous police vehicles earlier deployed to his house.
“With the media hype the whole saga generated especially his unwarranted travails in the hands of Immigration officials at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja on Monday and the attendant but dramatic police siege to his private residence thereafter, it became necessary for Melaye to end the drama, hence his choice to appear before the Police.”
Melaye’s aide further said said they were “constrained to make the record straight sequel to avalanche of calls by well-meaning Nigerians and supporters”.