The Senate, on Tuesday, decided to investigate the allegation that an armoured Range Rover car said to worth N298m and seized by the Nigeria Customs Service belongs to the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki.
The move was based on a point of order raised by former Majority Leader of the Senate, Senator Ali Ndume, who also called on the upper chamber of the National Assembly to investigate the certificate scandal involving Senator Dino Melaye.
The Senate resolved to investigate its members, following a point of order bordering on personal privileges, raised by the former leader of the Senate, Senator Ali Ndume, who drew the attention of the lawmakers to some publications by some newspapers on these issues. Ndume, who appears to be nursing animosity against some persons in the Senate over his ouster, urged the Senate to investigate these allegations in order to clear the image of the upper chamber because it was putting the institution in a bad light.
Relying on Senate Standing Orders 14 and 15, which deal with the privileges of senators, the lawmaker urged the Senate to thoroughly investigate these allegations because they had subjected the apex assembly to public ridicule.
Meanwhile, Saraki has said that he had nothing to do with importation of vehicle. In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the Senate President stated that the allegation raised by Ndume linking Saraki to the importation of vehicle lacked basis, stating that it was outright falsehood. Olaniyonu said that from the facts and documents about the seized vehicle, it was obvious that the Senate President had nothing to do with the importation of any vehicle. “A supplier was engaged by the Senate to supply a vehicle.
While transferring the vehicle between Lagos and Abuja, it was impounded by the Customs. We believe that is an issue between the supplier and the Customs because the Senate has not taken delivery. So, why is somebody trying to drag in the name of Saraki into the issue?
“The documents on the vehicle are there for the general public to view and make their conclusions. Now that the matter has been referred to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, all the facts will be out,” Olaniyonu stated. Also, reacting to his alleged certificate scandal, Melaye said that he graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, pointing out that he was also running a Masters Degree in the institution.
He argued that it was not possible for the university to admit somebody who did not complete first degree in the same school as claimed in the media reports, for a Masters Degree. Melaye noted that the allegation was an orchestrated attempt to distract him from doing his legitimate legislative business, pointing out that he would not allow himself to be distracted.
He said: “I’m here to respond to the issue raised by Ndume. I want to say, to me, it’s a welcome development. Democracy is about investigation and no senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is above investigation. It is a very welcome development and it would finally clear the air of all malicious and vindictive allegations.
“To state that I did not graduate from Ahmadu Bello University is to say that I’m not a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I would not be surprised tomorrow if the online medium says Dino Melaye is not a Nigerian.
“I’m already running another masters in the same university in Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice. I’m writing a test on Friday and Ahmadu Bello University is a very prestigious university in this country. “I want to announce that, that makes it my seventh degree that I’m pursuing. I am also a graduate of the University of Abuja, London School of Economics and Political Science, and Harvard University.”