Senator Dino Melaye, the lawmaker representing Kogi West in the upper chamber of the National Assembly narrowly escaped death on Saturday as gunmen reportedly invaded his Ayetoro-Gbede home in Kogi State.
Sunday Sun reliably gathered that the gunmen who numbered about 10 reportedly stormed the lawmaker’s home in the wee hours of Saturday and were said to have fired indiscriminately at the house.
The two vehicles parked in the house were damaged while the main building was riddled with bullets.
The lawmaker was in his country home for the Easter celebration.
Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, William Aya, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, said that the police received a distress call from the senator at about 1 a.m. and immediately responded.
He however said that the hoodlums escaped before the police arrived at the scene.
Aya said the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Wilson Inalegwu, had set up an investigation committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations to unravel those behind the attack.
In his own account, Senator Melaye said the hoodlums stormed his house at midnight and shot sporadically at the main building in the compound.
He said the shooting lasted for almost one hour, adding that apart from the building riddled with bullets, two of his vehicles were damaged.
The senator however pointed an accusing finger at the Administrator of Ijumu Local Government, Mr. Taufiq Isa as the mastermind of the attack.
According to him, the attack is most likely due to his incessant verbal attacks on the state government.
“I got a rousing welcome from Kabba to my home town on Friday and I know it angered the power -that-be in the state which mobilised for this assassination attempt on my life.
“At about midnight, we started hearing gunshots. They fired more than 200 rounds of bullets into the house. This attempt to kill me will not stop me from speaking the truth.
“If I speak the truth, I will die, if I lie, I will die. I’ve decided to speak the truth and die. I’m not afraid of death. I only respect men, I don’t fear them.
“I am championing an administrative course. I will continue to speak and be the voice to the voiceless. I will not be deterred. I remain resolute to make Kogi better. Nothing will stop me from coming home.
Isa, in a reaction, denied having a hand in the attempt on the life of the lawmanker, saying he had been busy for sometime taking care of his sick wife.
“I’ve never been a violent man. My running battle with Dino Melaye, if any, is because I have asked him to stop vilifying the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello. “Let him prove it. I lost my uncle a week ago; I’m still attending to my sick wife and busy supervising the APC re- registration programmes. I’m a democrat and law abiding. I challenge Dino to prove his case,” he said.
The lawmaker also accused the police of not responding quickly to his distress call, saying that the house of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in the town was a stone throw from the scene of the attack.
“The DPO did not come to my house until three hours later. Even the Area Commander in Kabba was not notified until I called the Commissioner of Police. I suspect a satanic collaboration between Taufiq Isa and the police in Aiyetoro because the duo held a meeting two days ago.
“Only God will protect us in this country but definitely not the police”, he said.