Police file new charges against Melaye for resisting arrest, lying
The lawmaker has been charged with several offences relating to the recent siege on his Abuja residence.
The charges relate to the recent eight-day siege on Melaye Abuja’s home when he refused to surrender to officers who were there to arrest him.
Police officers had invaded Melaye’s residence on December 28, 2018 to arrest him for his alleged involvement in the shooting of a police officer, Sgt Danjuma Saliu, in July 2018.
The lawmaker refused to surrender to the authorities and made several social media posts to taunt and accuse the Police of persecution and attempts to frame him.
However, he finally left his Maitama home on January 4 to surrender to the authorities after fellow lawmakers paid him a visit to persuade him to resolve the situation amicably.
In the charges filed by the Police, Melaye stands accused of illegal obstruction of lawful arrest, resistance to lawful arrest, refusal to honour and attend Police invitation, and lying about his whereabouts in public to mislead the Police.
The second defendant, Omenka, was charged with illegal obstruction to Melaye’s lawful arrest. Count three accuses him of locking the entrance gate to Melaye’s Maitama residence, and pushing the detectives with the gate with an intention to obstruct them from gaining access to the building.
The charges don’t include the criminal conspiracy and attempted culpable homicide for which he was arrested, meaning that could come at a later date with court cases piling on the embattled lawmaker.
The authorities said people in the lawmaker’s convoy had fired upon officers, injuring one, when he was flagged down during a stop-and-search operation by officers of the Anti-Robbery/Kidnapping Patrol Team in July 2018.
Even though Melaye claimed the Police tried to assassinate him and showed evidence of a bullet-riddled vehicle, the Kogi State command said officers only fired back in self-defence.
Melaye refused to honour an invitation to report for questioning over the incident, resulting in the siege on his house.
When Melaye finally surrendered to police officers on January 4,he suffered an asthmatic attack and collapsed, leading to weeks of medical treatment and more conflict with the authorities over the state of his health.
Even though then-Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, revealed that the Force had a remand warrant from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court to keep Melaye in custody for investigation till January 23, the FCT High Court in Maitama granted him bail on health grounds on Friday, January 18.
However, according to a report by Punch, authorities refused to release the lawmaker on Monday, January 21, despite fulfilling the bail conditions.
Melaye has had several disputes with the authorities for over a year, and is currently facing four different active criminal trials, two of them also relating to illegal arms possession.
Two suspects, Kabiru Saidu, a.k.a Osama, and Nuhu Salisu, aka Small, who were arrested in Kogi in January 2018 confessed that Melaye hired them to cause unrest in the state ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The criminal suspects revealed that the lawmaker handed them a bag containing one AK-47 rifle, two pump action rifles and the sum of N430,000 to recruit hardened troublemakers and unleash mayhem in Kogi.
Melaye was later charged with criminal conspiracy, unlawful possession of prohibited firearms, kidnapping, armed robbery, murder, political thuggery and other violent crimes committed in Kogi state.
The lawmaker has also been charged to court for perjury, accused of allegedly providing false information to the police about an assassination attempt on his life in 2017.
He is also facing separate charges of criminal conspiracy, causing damage to government property, attempted suicide and escape from lawful custody. This is in relation to an alleged escape from custody while he was being transported to Kogi State to face the illegal arms possession charge in April 2018.
He was also recently charged with illegal weapons possession in relation to the discovery of one automatic pump-action shotgun and 20 cartridges recovered from his residence located in the Ayetoro Gbede area of Kogi State during a search in July 2018.