Many still remember Honourable Dino Melaye as the member of the Federal House of Representatives whose clothes were torn during the crisis that rocked the House after questions were raised by the “Integrity Group”. To many, that was the beginning of the labeling of the Kogi born politician as an activist. Not very long after, he was suspended by the then Speaker, a move he challenged in the court of law.
When he left the House of Reps, he became more involved in activism, founding the “Anti-Corruption Network” and he was one of the arrowheads of the fuel subsidy protest that shook Nigeria in January 2012. Since then, he has organised several anti-corruption protests in Abuja and other places.
News filtered in on Monday evening that there was an attempt on Dino Melaye’s life in the Federal Capital Territory. According to Honourable Melaye, the assailants who were in a Volkswagen Golf car attacked him near the NNPC Towers in Abuja’s Central Business District and shot at his car. Speaking via telephone after, Melaye said “two bullets hit my car before I managed to escape unharmed.”
There are however conflicting accounts of the incident, leading to questions being raised about the alleged assassination attempt. For instance, it was established that at least two bullets hit the car’s windshield, none penetrated. However, while Dino Melaye and his associates described it as a “miracle” because the car was not bullet-proof, another of Dino’s close associates, Ayobami Oyalowo made it known on Twitter that the car was indeed bullet-proof. Nasir el-Rufai, a former Minister of the FCT also tweeted the same thing. El Rufai tweeted, ust spoke to @dino_melaye who was shot at several times in his car by motorists driving a Golf. Luckily his car was bullet-proof. Thank God.
While many have sympathized with Hon Melaye over various social networks, unanswered questions keep coming in. Though the politician’s associates believe it was purely an assassination attempt, some have pointed out that “if truly it was an association attempt, the car would have been hit more than twice, considering the fact that he was defenceless. ”
One of the former lawmaker’s aides, the Director of Planning and Strategy of the Anti Corruption Network was also quoted as saying “no one would steal a Bentley, so it is purely an assassination attempt. When you fight corruption, corruption fights back strongly”.
The Director’s insinuation that the “assassins” tried to jack him down from the car has also been faulted by those who have opined that if the assailants got close enough to attempt jacking him down from the car, they would have shot from close range and if the glass is not bullet proof, the story would have been different.
Some of those who questioned the assassination theory have also pointed out that professional assassins hardly hit their victims on the road because shooting at moving targets increases the probability of failing. Most victims of political assassinations including Engr. Funso Williams, Dr. Ayodeji Daramola, Marshall Harry, Aminoasori Dikibo, Chief Bola Ige, Ogbonnaya Uche and Olaitan Oyerinde were all killed in their houses.
They have also pointed out that professional killers have details of the movements of their target per time. For instance, Harry Marshall went to Abuja for a meeting and was killed in his Garki II home the following day. Chief Bola Ige just arrived his Ibadan home from Abuja when the assassins struck, Dr Daramola too had barely spent two days in his Ijan Ekiti home when he was murdered.
The other angle being explored is whether or not Honourable Melaye has “native insurance”, but as pointed out by specialists in that field, it has also been pointed out that having traditional bullet proof charms do not prevent bullets from hitting their target, the only thing is that the [person would not be harmed even if hit by the bullets.
The matter has been reported to the police and the State Security Service and investigations are already on.