Dino Melaye: Police drag senator to court over alleged illegal possession of firearm

The Nigeria Police Force, NPF, has dragged the Senator representing Kogi West in the National Assembly, Dino Melaye before an Abuja Federal High Court over his alleged illegal possession of firearms.

In a charge filed against Melaye, the police claimed that a pump-action gun was recovered from lawmaker’s residence in Kogi State in July 2018 during a search of the property.

The police, in the charge sheet marked FHC/ABJ/CR/07/2019, said the offence contravened Section 27 of the Firearms Act.

The charge sheet read: “That you, Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West district in the 8th National Assembly, on or about the 20th day of July 2018, at about 12.30 hours under the jurisdiction of this honourable court, unlawfully had in your possession one automatic pump-action shotgun and 20 cartridges, which were recovered at your residence located in the Ayetoro Gbede area of Kogi State, when a search warrant was executed on the directives of the Nigeria Police Force at your above mentioned residence under your control and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27(1)(a)(i) of the Firearms Act Cap F28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”

The police also provided eight witnesses to attest to the charges which comprise six policemen and two men who were painting Melaye’s house when the policemen came to search the property.

The witnesses include: DSP Babagana Bukar, DSP Ibrahim Abalaka, ASP Abdullahi Musa, Inspector Atabo Okpanachi, Inspector Apeh Peter, Theophilus Nuhu, Matthew Anthony and ASP Mohammed Onu.

In his statement, Nuhu, who is a painter, reportedly said: “On July 24, 2018, my master, Peter, brought one Matthew Anthony and myself from Kaduna State to Kogi for painting work in which he took us to one Senator Dino Melaye’s house at Ayetoro, Gbede area of Kogi State.

“While we were doing the painting, policemen, comprising MOPOL, SARS and SCID, came in and met us in the compound and they told me they wanted to conduct a search in the compound and they started to search the compound.

“Within and around the boys’ quarters building, where some cars were parked, under the flower, a gun was observed there with many bullets, but I do not know who put the gun there.”

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