Nigerian senator has held himself at a federal court in Abuja, in a concerted effort to prevent the police anti-robbery squad from arresting him.
The stand-off, which was underway as at 7:38 p.m. Thursday, came hours after Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West Senatorial District, secured bail on perjury charges.
Mr. Melaye was arraigned on allegations that he provided false information to the police in an attempt to indict a senior official of Kogi State government. He was granted a N100,000 bail.
But he stayed behind inside the court to avoid the police arrest. Statutorily, a suspect who has been granted bail by a court and met the conditions cannot be arrested within the court premises by security personnel.
PREMIUM TIMES could not immediately confirm why Mr. Melaye is being sought by heavily armed officers from police Special Anti-Robbery Squad, but three different officers confirmed to this newspaper that they surrounded the Maitama Division of the High Court of Federal Capital Territory because of Mr. Melaye.
Ricky Tarfa, who appeared for Mr. Melaye in the perjury case earlier today, could not be reached for comments Thursday night. His telephone number indicated that it had been switched off after multiply tries by PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr. Melaye said in a tweet update from his hideout inside the court building that Governor Yahaya Bello, his state governor and political rival, was responsible for his latest ordeal.
A spokesperson to the governor, Gbenga Olorunpomi, denied the allegation, telling PREMIUM TIMES Thursday night that his principal was “not involved.”
However, while the police still surrounded the building at 8:05 p.m., an aide to Mr. Melaye told PREMIUM TIMES his principal had left the court unnoticed.
One of the officers laying siege at the court, however, disputed the claim; saying they would not stand down until directed or until Mr. Melaye is arrested.
The police officers dispersed at about 8:32 p.m. from the court, apparently without arresting Mr. Melaye.