Protesters demand release of suspected master-mind of Melaye’s assassination attempt

Protesters demand release of suspected master-mind of Melaye’s assassination attempt

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 5:52 am


Richard Elesho/ Lokoja

Indigenes of Kogi West Senatorial District who are political appointees in the State, Monday held a peaceful rally in Kabba, headquarter of the district, and called for the release of their colleague, Taofeeq Isah, Administrator of Ijumu Local Government Area, who has been in police custody for alleged involvement in the assassination attempt on Senator Dino Melaye. The group was joined by pockets of youths, women, students and other political supporters in the area.

The group converged at the on-going Kabba Township stadium  with placards and banners bearing various inscriptions and expressed concerns over what they described as “continued detention” of their son and leader without being charged to court.  They described the whole issue as a ‘political battle’ between Taofiq and Senator Melaye.

This is coming as Taofiq kinsmen said the incarcerated ALGON boss is nursing a terminal illness and alleged that the police have been preventing him from accessing his medication, a situation they fear may lead to his death.

Some of the placards read: “Hon Taofiq Isah should not be subjected to media prosecution, let the court decide”, “Federation of Yagba students condemn continued detention of Hon. Taofiq Isah without trial and Kogi West is united for peace.”

Speaking, leader of the Kogi Integrity Group, Bar Zaccheus Dare called on the Inspector General of Police to charge Taofiq to court without further delay. He said the police should act fast on the issue rather than keeping him perpetually in custody, thus violating his fundamental human rights.

“Enough is enough of these violations of fundamental rights of the people. We will hit the streets in protests if Taofiq is not charged to court or released,” he said.

He urged the police not to allow itself to be used by politicians to play any script for their selfish interests.

The state commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Bolanle Ampitan urged the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC to wade into the crisis if they don’t want to lose Kogi State in the forthcoming 2019 general elections. She opined that the political britbrack the crisis may orchestrate may consume the party in the State.

On their parts, spokespersons of the Okun Youth and that of National Association of Kogi State Students (NAKOSS) also called on the IGP to either charge Taofiq to court or release him.

They expressed concerns over the health conditions of the Administrator, saying he had stayed long in detention without access to his physician.

Speaking on behalf of the family, elder brother of Taofiq, Chief Samuel Abejide, said the police has also held him incommunicado and not allowing him to get his drug. He expressed concerns that there may be a plan for him to die in police custody.

It will be recalled that there was an alleged attempt on the life Melaye when he visited his country home in Aiyetoro Gbede, Ijumu for the Easter celebrations. After his lucky escape the police launched an investigation which led to the arrest of Six suspects including Taofik. When the men were paraded, the police disclosed that it recovered Nine arms made up of 4 AK47s, 2 Baretta pistols and 2 double barreled guns. Since the parade, supporters of Taofik who doubles as ALGON chairman in the state have been at their wits’ end to secure his release. Last week, traditional rulers in Okun land also jointly addressed the Press with the political appointees, advocating for the release.

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