The police have charged Senator Dino Melaye and three others with criminal conspiracy and unlawful possession of prohibited firearms before a Federal High Court in Lokoja.
Police spokesman Jimoh Moshood, an assistant commissioner of police, told reporters in Lokoja yesterday that the case was filed on March 16, following the confession of a “wanted criminal” that the senator gave him arms and cash.
Moshood said the senator failed to cooperate with the police investigators have failed to report for questioning even after the Police wrote to Senate President Bukola Saraki seeking the release of the senator to answer to the allegations.
Melaye who is battling to retain his Senate seat, last week lost his bid to prevent the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from proceeding with his recall at the Court of Appeal
The suspects, Kabiru Saidu, a.k.a Osama (31), Nuhu Salisu (25 ) aka small, and Alhaji Muhammed Audu, a politician, who is now at large, are charged along with Melaye, who is representing Kogi West.
The Police said Kabiru and Salisu were arrested on January 19 at Ogojueje in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State, after a shootout and they confessed to being hired by Melaye to cause mayhem in the state.
The police said they seized from the thugs and their gang members, two AK47 rifles, five pump action guns, two locally made pistols and heaps of charms.
According to the police, the men not only confessed to have been involved in several kidnappings in the state and environs, they also claimed to be hired thugs for politicians.
“According to the gang leader, Osama, he had been working as a political thug for Alhaji Mohammed Audu."
“He said Alhaji Mohammed Audu invited him to Abuja and introduced him to Senator Dino Melaye and they met on Airport road, Abuja inside Senator Melaye’s car in the month of December 2017."
“The suspect further confessed that Sen. Dino Melaye told him that they should start working for him as his political thugs and they should recruit and train other thugs to work for him in preparation for the 2019 general elections to enable him ( Sen. Dino Melaye ) challenge his political opponents and disorganize Kogi State.”
The police said Osama also confessed that Melaye handed over a bag containing one AK47 rifle, two pump action guns, and the N430,000.00 to share with his boys.
Senator Melaye, however, described the allegations against him as framed-up and an orchestrated attempt by the Kogi state government to discredit him.
He said he had never set eyes on the suspects in his life.
He described the move an attempt by the Kogi State government to shut him up.
He said: “This is an attempt to shut me up and stop me from speaking the truth, but they have failed. It is an orchestrated lie by the governor and the police. I have tweeted about six weeks ago that they want to set me up because I got information from the Government House when they met to set me up
“You can see the conflicting statements by the criminals. I heard one said I gave two AK47 and pump action, while the other said I gave only one rifle and that I gave N430,000 to train militia and that I met them on Airport Road, in December 2017, but they didn’t give a date and time.”