Contrary the much publisized crime of shooting one of its officers, the Nigeria Police Force has filed a one count charge against the Kogi West lawmaker, Senator Dino Melaye, bordering on alleged illegal possession of firearms.
In the charge, filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja, the police said a pump-action gun was recovered from Melaye’s house in July last year during a search of his property in Kogi State.
The police also said the offense contravenes Section 27 of the Firearms Act in the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/07/2019.
The charge sheet reads: “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.”
Eight persons, including six policemen and two painters, were listed as witnesses.
They were identified as DSP Babagana Bukar, DSP Ibrahim Abalaka, ASP Abdullahi Musa, Inspector Atabo Okpanachi, Inspector Apeh Peter, Theophilus Nuhu, Matthew Anthony and ASP Mohammed Onu.
According to the statements made by all the witnesses and attached to the charge sheet, the gun was found not in the main building but the ‘boys’ quarters’ where cars were parked.
One of the two painters, Theophilus Nuhu, wrote in his statement: “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 therewith many bullets but I do not know who put the gun there.”
It would be recalled that police, during the siege on Senator Melaye’s Maitama, Abuja home, had said that the lawmaker was wanted in connection with the shooting of one of its officers along Ayeroro Gbede-Mopa Road in Kogi State by thugs in the Senator’s convoy.