Dino Melaye, who was arrested this morning on his way to Morrocco, has been released.
Spokesman of the embattled senator, Gideon Ayodele, says the senator was let off Immigration operatives’ hook after a stand-off that lasted about two and a half hours.
“Yes, he had been released almost an hour ago,” said Ayodele.
Senator Dino Melaye was arrested by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, on Monday morning, while on his way to Morocco on an official assignment.
Dino Melaye’s arrest was initially linked to the police, who have been on a manhunt for him for several weeks, and had declared the lawmaker wanted for his alleged links to violence in Kogi state.
The senator had denied wrongdoing, saying his ordeal was politically-motivated.
His arrest generated widespread reaction from Nigerians Monday morning. While some welcomed it as deserving of a controversial lawmaker like Sen. Melaye, others criticised the arrest as an act of executive recklessness.
The development could further surprise Nigerians who have long been shocked at the police’s apparent failure to enforce their own arrest warrant. Mr Melaye was declared wanted over a month ago, but he still has at least two police officers in his security detail.
The senator also reportedly met with Kogi police commissioner, the same officer that declared him wanted, at a burial event for a later House of Representatives member from Kogi State two weeks ago.
Gideon Ayodele said of Dino Melaye’s release:
“He was released after the police couldn’t pin anything on him.
The immigration officials who thought they were trying to help the police when they initially detained him were also embarrassed that the police couldn’t take him into custody.”
Meanwhile, see how BBC Africa described Dino Melaye following his arrest at the airport:
Dino Melaye now has a new title – Nigeria’s music video senator.