Kogi: Dino Melaye’s Sour Grapes

By  Bayo Eniojukan

The real and behind-the-scene motives for the unrelenting mischief by well-known enemies of the people of Kogi State should be obvious to all thinking people. Because the present administration in the state has blocked entrenched interests from feasting on the commonwealth and is embarking on efforts to develop all the sectors of socio-economic life of the people, it becomes very understandable that the mouth of detractors who had failed woefully in the past should be filled with sour grapes.

Because of the yawning developmental gap left between what was and what is now, it has not been easy for the people who were responsible for the state of hopelessness into which Kogi State and its citizens had been dumped, to accept the reality that, at last, the day of reckoning has come. Or that, indeed, a Daniel had come to judgment.

It is no longer news that as the result of the clamour of people from different walks of life, against the unrestrained bazaar that was the key feature of the last two Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administrations in the state, that Governor Yahaya Bello had set up a judicial panel of enquiry to look into the mess that was the last two administrations. After open sessions, the panel arrived at the decision that sundry interests who were working in concert with the key elements in the former administrations were indicted.

It was further discovered that in spite of losses of such huge sums of money through various forms of looting, nothing much was left on the ground to justify that grand rape of the long-suffering people of Kogi State. If anything, the people inherited monuments of abandoned and uncompleted projects and HUGE LOANS TO SERVICE.

It is no wonder that as a way of trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the people, these shameless detractors who obviously have a lot of explanations to make to the Kogites, have instead, hired a well known rabble-rouser to tar the present administration in the same putrid hue in which they had wallowed in their 12 uninterrupted years of despoliation of Kogi State.

It is in that light that the recent ridiculous attempt by Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West), leveling all manners of tendentious allegations against the Yahaya Bello administration, should be seen.

It is needless to state that from the mediocrity of the presentation of ‘situation report’ of the happenings in Kogi State on the floor of the Senate, it was obvious that the lawmaker lives in the gutters and is just desirous of dragging everybody else into his natural habitat.

No one should be surprised at Melaye’s reference to the people of his home state as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). He is a product of a discredited National Assembly where distorted personalities flourish unchallenged. Melaye as a Senator has never shown he is a robust adult thirsting for challenge and rigor. He trivializes serious issues with his nonsense and tomfoolery.

This is a lawmaker who knows nothing other than ostentatious consumption of goods in a manner that proves the anger of the poor Kogi people who voted him into office. On so many occasions, Senator Dino mocks at the very electorate that put him in office. He flaunts his exotic cars and jeeps to impress his poverty ravaged voters. Wouldn’t we be impressed if this “Distinguished Senator” had used his wealth to promote social causes and other philanthropic activities? Are the politician’s achievements determined by the number of exotic cars and jeeps he has acquired while in office, or by how many lives he touched?

Another obvious evil goal of the beer-parlor allegations against Governor Bello is to create the impression, that the current administration in the state is incompetent, as the day of reckoning for his recall from the Senate becomes imminent. There is, however, no doubt that attempts to erect such red-herrings would collapse.

It is also a matter of fact that in the affairs of governance, perception by the different levels of the governed often translates to the reality which they internalize. The detractors of the present government in Kogi State know this and that is why they are taking these diets of evil concoctions to the court of public opinion, knowing that the public is often gullible and would want to believe the worst about their leaders. It is, therefore, understandable and excusable that the state government usually takes equal space used by the detractors to publish their concoctions to refute them. It was a good information management strategy which tries to target the same audience at which the dangerous false allegations were targeted.

But rather than devote time and resources in responding to scoundrels like Senator Dino, whose stock in trade is scooping mud and throwing at people, what Governor Yahaya Bello and his handlers should do at this time is to ignore Dino and continue its good work, for the people, cognizant of the fact that the people are not fools and are aware of the great changes that are taking place before their very eyes.

Kogites are intelligent and discerning people who have watched governments come and go, and are, therefore, able to make comparisons. The people have been able to differentiate between administrations that have treated them with disdain from those who have taken their interests to heart and respected their feelings deeply enough as to have routinely consulted them to ascertain our feelings and listen to our heartbeats.

Yes, one must admit that the administration of Governor Yahaya Bello in Kogi State is definitely human and is bound to make mistakes and should, therefore, be given the opportunity to correct them.

It is important to call on all well-meaning people of Kogi State to come together and ensure that his detractors and unrepentant opposition elements that are hiding under Senator Dino are not allowed to succeed. Similarly, Governor Bello should continue his good work and by ensuring that the looters of the past are compelled to vomit their loot, in accordance with the prescriptions of the different judicial panels of inquiry so that the hapless civil servants can be paid all their entitlements at once!

While I am not trying to rationalize the owing of Kogi workers’ salaries, it must be said that Governor Bello is among the few governors who have committed to a reduction of its operating costs, including significantly slashing its overheads while freeing up more resources to meet his obligations to workers and to bridge the gap in the state’s infrastructural deficit.

It must be understood that as things stand, only four states; Kano, Katsina, Rivers, and Lagos can meet their recurrent expenditure obligations without resorting to borrowing or tapping from donor funds and extra-budgetary sources.

Official data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that in 2016, thirty (30) states reviewed; minus Lagos State generated N515.61 billion internally generated revenue, which is one-third of the N1.479 trillion they spend on workers remuneration annually. So, Kogi State is not alone in this mess.

What should Yahaya Bello do? He should continue in the same proactive and transparent way he has been running the state affairs, working to improve tax collection efficiency and realign budgeting with statewide plans.

It is for the honest and ordinary Kogites to make the accurate assessments that would winnow the wheat from the chaff. The good people of Kogi State must continue to consign senseless allegations made by Senator Melaye to where they belong- the dustbins!

After all, one could allege to a blind man that there is oil in the food, but you cannot lie to him that there is salt, when there is none. Let all Kogites as well as the other Nigerians whom the detractors in Kogi State are trying to confuse learn to dismiss the fake allegations against the current administration in the Confluence State for what they are: futile efforts of drowning men who had betrayed their trust by the people they were supposed to govern well, to grab at any manner of straws.

It is important to note, as Governor Bello has consistently warned of the need for vigilance to ensure that that Kogites do not allow the inordinate ambition of other people to becloud our peaceful atmosphere and vision. Should a word not be enough for the wise people
of Kogi State?

INEC Dumps Recall Notice At Melaye’s Office Entrance

A new twist has been added to Senator Dino Melaye’s recall process as officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday stormed the National Assembly Complex with recall documents to notify the embattled lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District.

The officials, who dropped loads of documents at the door to Melaye’s office, waited while the lawmaker was in the Senate chamber.

It was observed that the Melaye’s office was under lock and key, while his aides were not around to receive the notice.

Melaye had on Monday said the 90-day deadline set for INEC by Section 69 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) has expired.

Melaye also alleged that it was only after several attempts at his life had failed that “they” resorted to this sham process of recall.

“I celebrate the obituary of the ‘Made in Taiwan’ recall exercise, while sympathising with the induced petitioners, who will obviously face charges of forgery and other criminal charges before a court of law very, very soon.”

The lawmaker said this at a press conference in Abuja on Monday.

Source: Punch Newspaper

INEC Releases Timetable For Dino Malaye’s Recall

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released a new timetable for the recall of Senator Dino Melaye.

Melaye is representing Kogi West Senatorial District in the National Assembly.

The first timetable released by INEC, based on the request to recall Melaye by his constituents, became invalid when a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered all parties to the issue to maintain status quo.

However, the Federal High Court last week told INEC to continue with the process.

According to the new timetable, contained in a statement by the Secretary of INEC, Augusta C. Ogakwu, the recall process will commence on October 3 with the Notice of Verification.

The last day for the submission by observers has been fixed for October 5, while the publication of list of accredited observers is for October 9.

The conduct of verification will take place on October 14 in all polling units in Kogi West Senatorial District.

Court Dismisses Malaye’s Suit, Orders INEC To Continue Recall Process

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of an Abuja Federal High Court on Monday dismissed the suit by Kogi West Senator, Dino Melaye, challenging his recall process, instituted by his constituents.

The judge ruled that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, “shall proceed with the recall process.”

The Kogi West Senator had approached the court seeking an order nullifying the recall process.

Against this backdrop, the court had ordered INEC to halt the recall exercise, pending the determination of Melaye’s application.

However, Justice Dimgba said contrary to Melaye’s argument that he was not granted a fair hearing, the constitution does not require a special provision that mandates INEC to grant the senator an opportunity of fair hearing.

Consequently, the judge ordered the Nation’s electoral body to serve Melaye with the recall petition, schedule of signatures attached to the petitions and a full list of persons in support of the recall process.

The judge said his order must be carried out within two weeks before an amended time-table for the recall would be made.

 

Court To Rule On Dino Malaye’s Recall Sept 11

The Federal High Court in Abuja, on September 11, will decide if the process to recall Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye should be aborted.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba fixed the September date after listening to arguments from all parties involved in the suit.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had commenced the process to recall Mr. Melaye, but the senator went to court, seeking stoppage of the process.

One of the grounds upon which Mr. Melaye, who represents Kogi West in the Senate, challenged his recall, was that the signatures of some of the voters in the petition for his recall were fictitious.

Mr. Melaye who argued his case through his counsel, Nkem Okoro, said majority of the signatures on the petition were dead people.

He added that death certificates were attached to the processes he filed as exhibits to ascertain the veracity of his claim that some of the signatories were deceased.

He further alleged that he was denied fair hearing by both his constituents and INEC.

“The petitioners ought to have informed Mr. Melaye of the facts and circumstances upon which the alleged loss of confidence was based prior to submission of the petition to INEC.

“INEC upon receipt of the said petition only served Melaye a mere notice that it had received a petition for his recall. So we are challenging INEC’s action.

“They should have shown a copy of the petition to Melaye and failure to do so amounts to denial of fair hearing and a violation of the laws of natural justice.”

Mr. Okoro also said his client was challenging the validity of the said petition on the grounds that the petition was based on political animosity, malice and bad faith.

He urged the court to grant the prayers of his motion and stop INEC from going ahead with the planned recall.

Counsel to the other plaintiffs in the matter said they aligned themselves with the arguments of Mr. Okoro.

Counsel to INEC, Anthony Adeniyi, on his part, said Mr. Melaye had failed to show the court the particular signatories on the petition to which the death certificates attached as exhibit belonged.

“If he attached death certificates, he should tell the court that this certificate for example, belongs to signature number 24 on the petition, but he failed to do that.”

Justice Dimgba adjourned the matter until Sept. 11 for judgment.

The judge also fixed Sept.11 to deliver judgment in a suit filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC), also seeking to stop Melaye’s recall.

The judge consolidated the two suits to avoid having conflicting judgments since the subject of both suits were similar.

(NAN)

 

LG Administrator Arrested Over Alleged Attack On Dino Melaye

Taofiq Isah, administrator of Ijumu local government, Kogi state, has been arrested over the alleged assassination attempt on senator Dino Melaye, Wilson Inalegwu, the state commissioner of police, has confirmed.

The senator’s country residence in Kogi was reportedly attacked in the early hours of Saturday, April 15.

Briefing journalists in Lokoja, Inalegwu said that aside from the council boss, some unspecified number of persons had also been interrogated in connection with the matter.

He said that the case was being prosecuted with “due diligence”, and assured members of the public that every suspect in the matter would be invited for interrogation.

“When you are suspected, you will be interrogated. We are treating this matter as a very serious one. We shall be thorough and professional. We shall fear no one,” he said.

Reports say that Isah was arrested at the gate of the state ministry of education by security agents, who intercepted the council boss’ vehicle.

The security officials had quietly flashed their identity cards and asked Isah to alight and board their waiting vehicle, a directive Isah complied with, after hesitating for some minutes.

“I Will Rather Die, But Dino Malaye Must be Exposed- Sowore

Omoyele Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters, has said he is ready put his life on the line to ensure that Nigeria is rid of manipulative leaders.

Sowere said he would die to ensure that those he described as “drug dealers, certificate forgers, money launderers, political manipulators, and assassins” are named and shamed.

Sowore stated this via a post he made on his Facebook page in response to a statement made by Senator Dino Melaye that he would ensure he (Sowore) is sent to jail for alleged libel.

He said the quagmire between himself and Melaye can be likened to that of former military dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida, who instituted libel charges, petitions, even incarcerated and allegedly murdered late Dele Giwa and persecuted Gani Fawehinmi over their investigative stance. Sowore wrote:

“Folks: It was brought to my attention earlier that Nigerian Senator Dino Melaye promised to ‘send me to jail’ over the recent unraveling of his questionable educational background. While some are worried, appalled, alarmed and concerned and even scared about this declaration, it had me thinking differently.

“I am a Nigerian citizen who had been through torture, humiliations, and incarceration by dictators in uniform between 1992-1999 before I, eventually, left Nigeria. I have never doubted the power of justice over legalities.

“That a Nigerian Senator in a democratic era could make this proclamation is indeed a sign that our democratic transition was a farce, particular when you’ve now noticed that Mr. Melaye was sitting at the feet of one of Nigeria’s worst military dictators, Ibrahim Babangida just a week ago.

“One of Babangida’s worst crimes against humanity was the assassination of notable investigative journalists of our time, Dele Giwa, by way of a parcel bomb. Another thing Melaye shares in common with Babangida and his killer squad was using libel lawsuits to silence inquisitions. In the 80’s Gani Fawehimi was found liable of libeling the killers of Dele Giwa and asked to pay damages to Halilu Akilu.

“Here is how I am different and also not different, I am not going to run away from criminals running the Nigerian political space until they are defeated, and their ideologies of greed, bloodiness, and avarice are entirely abandoned and discredited forever (Apology to Bob Marley).

“If it takes my life, so be it; if it means another unjust ruling asking for damages for thieves. So be it. We must take our space back from the 10 percenters, drug dealers, certificate forgers, money launderers, political manipulators, and assassins. “Thank you.”

 

Here is the e-mail response from London School of Economics @LSEnews debunking @Dino_Melaye's claim

Posted by Omoyele Sowore on Sunday, 26 March 2017

Source: Naji

Senate In Messy Scandal As Saraki And Melaye Undergoes Investigation

The Senate has referred its president, Bukola Saraki, and controversial Senator, Dino Melaye, to the committee on ethics and privileges over allegations of importing a car with fake Customs documents and certificate forgery respectively.

The resolution, on Tuesday, followed a motion by the former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, who said the two cases – alleged seizure of car belonging to Mr. Saraki and Mr. Melaye’s certificate scandal – had made the Senate subject of public ridicule.

Mr. Ndume categorically said Nigerians were insulting the Senate over the scandals and, therefore, urged the Senate to investigate Messrs. Saraki and Melaye.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided in the absence of Mr. Saraki who went to the Code of Conduct Tribunal for his corruption trial, referred the matters to the committee on ethics and privileges chaired by Samuel Anyanwu.

The committee has four weeks to report back to the Senate, Mr. Ekweremadu ruled.

The two matters involving Mr. Saraki and his ally, Mr. Melaye, were made public following reports by Sahara Reporters about how a bullet proof Range Rover purportedly belonging to Mr. Saraki was imported with fake papers and seized by the Nigeria Customs Service.

The Comptroller-General of the NCS, Hameed Ali, is currently at loggerheads with the Senate which insists the retired colonel must wear Customs uniform to appear before the lawmakers on Wednesday.
Sahara Reporters’ report suggested the Senate was tough on Mr. Ali because Customs seized Mr. Saraki’s car.

But seizure is yet to be confirmed by the NCS.
The paper also said Mr. Melaye did not graduate from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, contrary to the Senator’s claim. But Mr.

Melaye denied the allegation, saying he is even currently studying for a postgraduate degree in the school.

Since his removal as Senate Leader after a fallout with Mr. Saraki over the rejection of the nomination of Ibrahim Magu for the top job at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ndume has been openly tackling Mr. Saraki.

He once asked the Senate President to disclose the details of the National Assembly’s budget to both the public and the lawmakers.

Nigerians following the Senate proceedings online dismissed the probe of Mr. Saraki and Mr. Melaye.

 

Source: prenium times

 

Dino Melaye in Messy Graduation Scandal

Senator Dino Melaye alleged that he was about to be framed up by EFCC and it happened in less than a week, report has emerged that the Kogi West representative did not graduate from department of Geography of the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.

A popular online outfit, Sahara Reporters, said in a series of tweets that the Chairman of the Senate Committee on FCT, failed some courses while at the university.

In a quick response, the senator challenged the online outfit to sue him.

According to Sahara Reporters‏the examination Officers at ABU Zaria insists that Dino_Melaye never graduated from Geography.

“They said Dino’s name was not on graduation,” SR said on Monday.

The Examination officers stated that Melaye failed GENS 201, GEOG 307 (Long Field Trip Course), GEOG 404, GEOG 411 and GEOG 426, SR said in another tweet.

Sahara Reporters‏ stated that “In 2016 DG DSS Daura met with one of the Exam Officers from ABU, a DSS team investigated and concluded @Dino_melaye didn’t graduate.”

It alleged that DSS covered up the finding.

But Dino Melaye‏ @dino_melaye told SR that “you and your fake documents. I’m presently a student of ABU pursuing my 7th degree. Go round all the UNIS I attended in digging more.”

 

SR you and your fake documents. I’m presently a student of ABU pursuing my 7th degree. Go round all the UNIS I attended in digging more.

— Senator Dino Melaye(@dino_melaye) March 20, 2017

In another tweet, Senator Dino Melaye‏ @dino_melaye, said “Sahara Reporters please sue me and ABU if it is true that I did not graduate from Zaria. Tell Magu to arrest me and prosecute me.”

 

Credit: Sahara Reporters