Monday, 30 July 2018

'How I escaped from my abductors and stayed on a tree for 11-hours' - Senator Dino Melaye

Senator Dino Melaye in a lengthy interview with Premium Times told his own version of what he said was taking place along the Abuja-Lokoja highway that led to his disappearance for nearly 24 hours.

The senator confirmed that he had not been kidnapped, but that he was not the architect of his ordeal either. He said he was traveling from Abuja to Lokoja for a court appearance Thursday morning and shortly after passing Gwagwalada, about 50 kilometers southwest of Abuja, a convoy of three vehicles drove his vehicle, intercepting him on the highway and forcing him to stop.

According to him, the attackers tried to open fire to break into the vehicle, to realize that it was a well-armored vehicle with bullets. Without much time to lose on the scene, the attackers imagined an alternative.

"They started screaming that they wanted to burn me, they said" burn it, burn it "and they crossed the street to get tires to set the vehicle on fire," said Melaye. As the assailants scattered in different directions to search for tires, Melaye said he feared for his life and made an instinctive calculation for jumping into the bush, rather than staying in the car in defiance.

"I jumped into the bush and started running, they chased me and I was able to overtake them and climb a tree, I was above the three when I saw them go by looking for frantically for me, when they did not find me, they also ran back, "he said.

The senator said it was on the tree that he perched until his attackers left. While he was on the tree, he saw four of them pass, but remained silent to avoid being detected. He will then spend 11 hours trying to make sure that he will not run out of immediate danger for his attackers and that he will work his way out of the invasive weeds.

He also said that he could not identify any of them, even though there was an identification parade by the authorities, largely because he was more worried about his survival than anything else about it. traumatic moment. The senator said that he believed that those who were trying to attack him were police sponsored elements. He said when he appeared in court on Wednesday for his suicide attempt at the Federal Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Apo, he saw men following him after the proceedings.

He described the vehicles that the men were driving as two Toyota Hilux trucks and a Toyota Sienna minivan. "They were exactly the same vehicle that used to attack me on Thursday morning," he said. He was traveling to Lokoja in a vehicle that was not yet known to him, in order to conceal his move to those who followed him.

"I was going in a totally different vehicle, but I asked my brother to drive behind me in an SUV as a back-up, but I was shocked to see the attackers running in the middle, creating a wall between my brother and I before attacking me, "he said.

He added that "for a start, the federal government and the police in particular have combined five cases against me in court. I have never refused to appear in the courts in the five separate cases. "

He said that the statement that he was trying to avoid court appearance should immediately ring false minds, especially since he was in court the day before. In addition, the court appearance in Lokoja was more a matter of symbolism than of substance. It was because he had learned from his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, that the case would not be heard on Thursday because the prosecutor had already written to notify his unavoidable absence and request an adjournment.

"Alex Izinyon is the prosecutor and he wrote to my lawyer to inform him that he would not appear in court on Thursday and that the judge should adjourn the case, so why not want to be in court when I know that nothing would happen to me? "I attended all the previous hearings and was told that the prosecutor wanted an adjournment I was released on bail a long time ago that I continue to enjoy. Would not want to go to court that day? There is no sense in this claim. It's completely against logic, "said Melaye.

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