The Nigeria Police Force has charged Senator Dino Melaye before the Federal High Court Abuja for alleged illegal weapons possession and lined up eight witnesses to prove their case.
In the charge, the police allege that a pump-action gun was recovered from Melaye’s house in Kogi State during a search in July 2018.
In the charge, marked, FHC/ABJ/CR/07/2019, the police said the offence contravened Section 27 of the Firearms Act.
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.”
The witnesses comprise six policemen and two men who were painting Melaye’s house when the policemen conducted the search.
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.
All the witnesses made statements which were attached to the charge sheet, saying the gun was found not in the main building but the ‘boys’ quarters’ where cars were parked.
One of the painters, Nuhu, wrote that he was one of the painters taken by his master to do some work at Senator Dino Melaye’s house at Ayetoro, Gbede area of Kogi State.
According to him, while they were working, policemen, comprising MOPOL, SARS and SCID, came to the compound and said they wanted to conduct a search.
“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,” he said.
The senator representing Kogi West in the National Assembly had denied the allegation, saying it is politically motivated.
Mr. Melaye is an outspoken critic of the President Muhammadu Buhari government and a political rival to Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.