â€¢ Senator insists he is yet to be served papers for arraignment
Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The Senate yesterday mandated its Committees on Police Affairs and Judiciary to investigate the allegation on threat to life by Senator Dino Melaye in his ongoing battle with the Kogi State Government.
It directed the committee to submit its report within 48 hours.
This is as Melaye who is due for arraignment by the Nigeria Police today on allegations of Â gunrunning, has maintained that he is yet to receive any notice to that effect.
The Senateâ€™s intervention was prompted by a point of order raised by Senator Isah Hamman Misau, who lamented that the police has refused to stay neutral in Melayeâ€™s battle with Kogi state Governor, Mr. Yahaya Bello.
The police, he said, already announced it would declare Melaye wanted, if he does not appear in court on Wednesday, indicating that the security outfit has already taken sides.
â€œIf the matter is already in court, it is left for the judge to decide what to do. Once the matter is in court, the police have removed their hands,â€ he added.
â€œFrom the intelligence that we have gathered from Kogi State, if police is allowed to be used to take Melaye to Kogi, there will be possible breakdown of law and order because there are supporters of Melaye and supporters of the governor,â€ Misau said.
There has been so much tension in Kogi in the last one year over the disagreement between Bello and Melaye, which has caused the security situation to degenerate, Misau said.
He stated that to therefore allow the police to take Melaye to an already tensed state, would amount to risking his life.
Misau also queried why jurisdiction is not being considered in the allegations against Melaye, as since the crime he is being accused of was alleged to have been committed in Abuja, the matter should be handled in Abuja.
â€œThe issue should be separated, the people that committed atrocities in Kogi can be tried in Kogi. We are calling for fairness and justice. This matter (of Melaye) should be treated in Abuja where everyone will be seen,â€ he urged.
â€œThe international community is watching to see what we are going to do. For us to create breakdown of law and order intentionally; that is not good for our country, for the government and it is not going to be good for our democracy (which) we are trying to nurture,â€ Misau warned.
also speaking at the plenary, Melaye maintained that he was yet to be served any notice of court process.
â€œThe media is awash (with reports) that I have fled this country, that I will not return until there is a change of government. As I speak, I have not received any criminal summon from any court in Nigeria, nor have I received any arraignment notice in Nigeria. There has been no attempt to serve me any notice, no statement has been taken from me,â€ he said.
Melaye said it was surprising that one of the suspects, who the police paraded in the 2017 assassination attempt on his life, is also being used to frame him for allegations of gunrunning.
Senator Phillip Aduda (FCT PDP) said the actions of Bello are capable of derailing Nigeriaâ€™s democracy.
â€œIt looks like this governor has been allowed to do whatever he wants, without anybody cautioning him. This governor is trying to derail this democracy,â€ he said.
Presiding, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, called on politicians to be tolerant of their critics.
â€œWhatever affects anyone of us here, affects all of us and infringes on this institution. Today, it is Senator Dino Melaye, tomorrow, it could be another one of us,â€ he said.