Melaye has been hiding in plain sight for weeks while the police chase its tail looking for him.
Senator Dino Melaye, the lawmaker representing Kogi West in the hallowed chambers of the Nigerian Senate, is a wanted man.
For as long as anyone can remember, Melaye is the man to be seen anywhere gentlemen snack on controversy and his latest shave with the law is as crazy as whatever was the last crazy thing he did.
If the Nigeria Police Force is to be believed, Melaye is a criminal kingpin.
This current stand-off commenced when gallant officers of the force arrested two alleged criminals in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State on January 19, 2018.
After what is assumed to be a careful interrogation of the suspects that we believe didn’t involve any underhanded tactics, they confessed out of the goodness of their hearts that Melaye was their godfather.
According to the suspects, Kabiru Seiduand Nuhu Salisu (colourfully nicknamedOsama and Small respectively), Melaye handed them a bag containing one AK-47 rifle, two pump action guns and N430,000 to recruit hardened troublemakers and unleash mayhem in Kogi ahead of the 2019 general elections.
This was the moment our protagonist, the Nigeria Police Force, nicely asked our antihero, the distinguished Senator, to show face and answer some questions.
Like beloved antiheroes do, Melaye called their bluff and basically said, “Catch me if you can, suckers.”
The game is the game (Instagram/@dinomelaye)
He didn’t stop there; he made several other accusations that the police was working with the Kogi state government and his arch-nemesis, Governor Yahaya Bello, to get rid of him, politically and maybe physically.
Keep in mind that the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation had already filed a lawsuit against him for attempting to frame Bello’s Chief of Staff, Edward Onoja, as the architect of a previous assassination attempt on his life.
Is there any other politician across the Republic that lives a more colourful life than our sagacious Senator?
Because of his fears that there was a plot against him, Melaye declared that he’ll only honour the invitation of the police if the questioning takes place in Abuja where he has clout.
This request was never granted and Melaye, Osama, Small and Mohammed Audu (who allegedly set up a meeting between both parties) were charged with conspiracy and unlawful possession of prohibited firearms and were scheduled to be arraigned in a Lokoja court on Wednesday, March 28, 2018.
On D-Day, the suspects escaped into the wind, along with four other inmates, after breaking out of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) cell they were being held in Lokoja.
The state’s Commissioner of Police, Ali Janga, decided he was tired of everybody’s misbehaviour and declared Melaye, a distinguished Senator of the Republic, a wanted fellow.
Alongside the escaped suspects, Janga announced that Melaye’s profile had been forwarded to the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) to ensure he’s arrested anywhere he’s found.
It was at this moment that our antihero got his international recognition; only that Interpol was not willing to get involved and told the NPF to do their own dirty work themselves.
There’s a Melaye meme for everything (Instagram/@dinomelaye)
Since Melaye was declared wanted on March 28, he’s not been seen in public and is believed to be trying to escape to the Bahamas through the Sahara Desert.
LOL. Of course not; he’s done quite the opposition
Melaye’s streak of invisibility
The day Melaye was officially declared wanted, he was in Abuja, doing his 9-5 job while waiting for his N13.5 million running cost credit alert to hit his phone.
Disclaimer: Not actual image of waiting for credit alert (TheCable)
The lawmaker attended plenary at the National Assembly and even threatened to sue the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, for emotional harassment.
During the two weeks that he’s been officially wanted, Melaye has been attending to his legislative duties, being protected by…you guessed it – police escorts.
In what is the most brazen indictment of the wanted declaration, on April 5, 2018, Melaye accompanied Senate PresidentBukola Saraki (the political Sherlock Holmes to his Doctor Watson) to Kogi, where he is wanted, to commiserate with the family of the late Deputy Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Umar Buba Jibril.
He shook hands with a police officer and posted a picture of it on his Instagram account because that’s what antiheroes do – rub it in the faces of their disoriented enemies.
“Now you see me, now you…still do but can’t do nothing about it, haha” (Instagram/@dinomelaye)
Melaye also showed up in Akwa Ibom and Abia State at events that had heavy police presence, but he remains free.
How can a man who has been declared wanted by the police cavort so openly with officers of the same security agency that can’t seem to find him?
He’s just…right there (Instagram/@dinomelaye)
Only one of three things could be happening here: the wanted declaration is an ill-thought-out disaster that makes the police appear incompetent, Melaye’s disguise has been so cleverly done the police can’t recognise him, or he’s an invisible god.
A theory of five Dinos
While the hunt continues, some have suggested that the trouble with arresting Melaye might lie in the fact that he is more than one person.
You see, the man the Nigeria Police Force has declared wanted is Dino Melaye the Senator representing Kogi West; but Dino the full package is a bundle of numerous colourful personalities.
There’s Dino the comedian, Dino the singer, Dino the dancer, Dino the choirmaster, and then there’s Dino the video vixen.
Your MCM could never! (YouTube/KACH )
So I see where the dilemma is here for the NPF. If they move to apprehend Dino the Senator and who they meet is Dino the clown, it might be termed wrongful arrest and lead to even more embarrassment than they’re already facing.
So, again, what can the NPF do to catch this overachieving alleged criminal kingpin?
Challenge him to a dance off? (YNaija )
For all intents and purposes, declaring Melaye wanted was an ill-thought empty threat (especially without a court order); sort of like that thing you do when you pretend you’re ready for a fight, but your two gloves are missing so you just stunt with your mouth instead and hope your opponent falls down in defeat.
While the NPF would get away with this most of the time, Melaye is not your regular adversary; he’s not a family man antihero in the mould of Walter White but a The Joker-maniac-level troublemaker. He’s been around the block and knows how to play in the gutter with all the tricks the state can use against him. He absolutely enjoys it too, unlike his opponents who almost always end up with eggs on their faces.
It’s tricky to predict who’ll blink first eventually, but the farce is terribly entertaining.