Melaye recounts his treetop experience


The senator representing Kogi West, Mr. Dino Melaye has denied that he staged his attack or fabricated the story of his kidnap in an attempt to avoid his criminal trial in the state.

Speaking in an interview in Abuja on Sunday, Melaye said he was travelling to attend a court case in Lokoja when a convoy of three vehicles drove recklessly by him along the Abuja-Lokoja highway and opened fire at his vehicle.

He said when the suspected assassins realised that his vehicle was bulletproof, they halted his movement and attempted to burn his car.

In the process of doing that, Melaye said he opened his car door and escaped into the bush where he spent many hours on a treetop until he was able to return home 11 hours later on Friday.

When I realised that they wanted to burn my vehicle, I quickly opened the car and ran into the bush. I had to run for my life. It was the grace of God that made me to escape.

“When I got into the bush, I climbed a tree and stayed there. While on the tree, I saw two of the policemen coming to look for me, but they didn’t know I was on the tree. I was in the bush for 11 hours.

“My brother that was in one of the vehicles didn’t know what happened; so he had to raise an alarm that I was kidnapped. He went to the Gwagwalada police station and reported the matter. At first, they wanted to act, but when one of them made a call, they started turning my brother.

“They then asked him to go and wait for them at the scene, that they would join him. But he waited for more than 45 minutes, they didn’t come. So, it’s not true for the police to say that none of my family members reported the matter,” he said.

The senator also debunked the claim that he staged his alleged kidnap to avoid attending the court session in Lokoja.

He said he had been on bail from the same court and attended its sittings thrice before Thursday incident.

“The prosecutor wrote my lawyer that he would not be in court that day and that he wanted an adjournment to September 20. There was no need at all for me to say I wouldn’t attend the court session.

“If anything happens to me, the Nigerian Police and Governor Yahaya Bello should be held responsible.

“I went through four assassination attempts as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but the president remained silent. Definitely I’m going to call the attention of the international community.

“They withdrew my security since April 22, and I wrote the police to restore my security, but nothing was done. As a senator, I deserve security personnel around me. In fact, even as an ordinary citizen, I deserve security,” he said.


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