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Published On: Thu, Apr 26th, 2018

Senators fume over Dino Melaye, Police encounter

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Senator Dino Melaye

Senator Dino Melaye

By Musa Adamu and Ikechukwu Okaforadi

Senators yesterday in the plenary reacted angrily to the news of the arrest of Senator Dino Melaye on Tuesday by the Police, resolving to summon the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to explain why their colleague had to be treated like a “common criminal.”
Two Senators who also contributed to the however, cautioned their colleagues against grandstanding and making emotional statements.
These Senators, Abdullahi Adamu and Oluremi Tinubu, further warned against dragging the Presidency into the matter but instead seek for the way out for their embattled colleague.
Senator Samuel Anyanwu who brought the attention of the Senate to arrest and alleged ill treatment of Senator Dino said Police had no regard for them as lawmakers.
He said he was shocked at the way Dino was treated like a common criminal even when he was still a Senator of the federal republic.
He also decried the state he said he met Sen Peter Nwaoboshi in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), adding that though he knew that some of them had been marked for such treatment he would not refrain from speaking his mind.
Also contributing, Sen Chukwuka Utazi, accused “the other party” of believing only in conquering and not dialogue, calling on the Senate to summon the leadership of the Police to explain why Sen Dino had to be “treated this way.”
On his part, Sen Isa Hamman Misau, said if the number of Police deployed to get Dino were deployed to Zamfara, the attacks in the state would have been brought to the end.
Accusing the Police in Kogi state of taking side, he wondered why the Police would insist on arresting Dino even when in their own statement they admitted that the matter was pending in Court.
He cautioned that the world was watching Nigerian leadership on the way they trampled on Democracy and how the country was being ridiculed.
Sen Gobir said the treatment of Dino by the Police offends chapter 4 of the Constitution which guarantees right to life and to dignity.
Sen Adumu Aliero, while describing the day as a bad day, said an “attack on one is an attack on all.”
He said he could not understand why the Police had to wait to arrest Dino at the airport even he comes to the Chamber everyday.
He said if the sort of treatment meted to Dino was possible then ordinary Nigerian was not safe.
Sen Shehu Sani, said he was worried by the “systematic pattern of violations of freedom in the country and descent into autocracy.
“We have seen how peaceful protests were forcefully crushed and our Democracy gradually being eroded. But, I must say that whatever we do today we must remember that power is transient and that whatever we do always come back to us.”
He warned those in power today that “We must know that the life outside power is longer than life inside. We must know that life itself is temporal. Who said we must be around in 2019?”
Recalling that “this same thing happened in 1984,” Sen Muhammad Ubale Shittu, said he doubts if “this is the change we voted for,” adding that “They treat us as enemies but we are not enemies.”
But, in his contribution, Sen Abdullahi Adamu, said it was imperative for him “to make intervention on this emotional subject and I must say nobody in good conscience will agree with the pictures going round depicting the treatment meted to Sen Dino”
He however warned that: “This is not the time todiscuss what he (Dino) did or did not do. The emphasis at this point should be about what we can do to get him out. I have been in detention not once, not twice, not thrice and I can tell you I know what goes on there. The outpouring of confrontational comments going on here will not help us and neither this grandstanding. What we must do now is to make sure we see him to ascertain his state of mind.”

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