Where exactly is Senator Dino Melaye as the police camp in his house and dare him to show face? This is the question on everyone’s lips at the moment.
It’s been 5 days since the police siege on Melaye’s upscale apartment in the Mississippi area of Abuja.
In typical Melaye fashion, he has been inundating his Twitter followers with daily updates of the goings-on in his compound. For this lawmaker, everything is a movie.
“Cameras recording. They are trying to plant guns in the cars outside. We are watching. Two Hilux trucks have now blocked my gate with men in mufti numbering 20”, Melaye tweets one day.
“Police bringing in tool boxes to break doors and vandalize my house. Police EOD truck just brought them. Media, take note”, he tweets on another.
It is a ridiculous standoff no less, one the nation should be spared.
Let me provide some context to this needless drama in a few paragraphs:
The police say Melaye shot and almost killed a police officer at a checkpoint in Kogi, on July 19, 2018.
On July 23, 2018, Melaye is issued a letter of invitation to answer for the alleged crime of culpable homicide. He shuns the invitation, according to the police.
Senate President Bukola Saraki says no letter of invitation was sent to the National Assembly clerk, demanding Melaye to report to the police station. The police disagrees, tenders evidence. Saraki wonders why the police would want Melaye now, only days before the election, says it’s all politics, accuses the police of trying to take Melaye out of circulation just so he would play no prominent role for the opposition PDP during the elections. The police ignores Saraki, continues to camp outside Melaye’s home with a valid Warrant of Arrest.
It may be 2019, but nothing has changed in our nation’s politics. Melaye is headlining another drama, the police is accused of political witch-hunt, the PDP and APC continue to play politics with everything.
But at some point, something has to give. Nigeria may be a sick nation, but it’s still far from a rudderless banana republic.
When the police invites you over, it only makes sense to honour that invitation and hear out what they’ve got to say, no matter your status in society. Fine, the police is not particularly trustworthy in these parts, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t do their jobs. They have an arrest warrant, they have invited Melaye over as courteously as possible. Melaye should honour that invitation for all it’s worth.
Running away, climbing trees, jumping off trucks and releasing dance and taunt videos from hideouts should really have been left in 2018.
Saraki may well have a point when he says Melaye is being hounded for political reasons, but even he can’t prove that allegation at the moment. What everyone who loves Melaye should do is encourage him to emerge from his hideout, meet with the police and clear his name in a court of competent jurisdiction. It is called rule of law for a reason.