The police have paraded two men said to be members of an armed gang terrorising Kogi State. The police said the suspects have confessed to being provided weapons and financial support by Dino Melaye, a senator from the state.
The development could further complicate the ongoing political crisis that has seen Mr. Melaye and Governor Yahaya Bello enmeshed in bitter confrontations over the state’s political structure.
A statement by police spokesperson Jimoh Moshood said the suspects, identified as Kabiru Saidu and Nuru Salisu, were paraded on Monday in Lokoja, the state capital.
Mr. Moshood, an assistant commissioner for police, said the detectives caught the suspects with a cache of arms that included AK-47 rifles and pump action firearms.
The spokesperson also said that the suspects confessed during interrogations that they were being sponsored by Mr. Melaye, who represents Kogi West Senatorial District. The criminal indictments were part of the reasons police were looking for Mr. Melaye, Mr. Moshood added.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the police laid an unsuccessful siege to arrest Mr. Melaye two Fridays ago at the High Court of Federal Capital Territory in Maitama, Abuja. The senator dribbled members of police special anti-robbery squad who were deployed to arrest him, disappearing into the night as the officers stood at utmost attention outside.
The senator has denied wrongdoings, saying the police are being used by Mr. Bello, his political arch-rival, to malign his image and destroy his career. Mr. Bello, in turn, denied any involvement in Mr. Melaye’s ordeal, saying the senator’s bad deeds have caught up with him.
Mr. Melaye has not commented on the latest disclosure from the police, although he issued a statement earlier on warning of an impending attempt to rope him in a crime he knew nothing about.