* Senate summons IGP, faults Buhari govt
The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki on Wednesday led other senators to visit Senator Dino Melaye at the National Hospital in Abuja. Saraki was said to have been allowed to see Melaye on his sick bed at the Trauma Centre of the hospital.
The Upper legislative chamber had adjourned its sitting for sympathy visit to Melaye at the hospital.
Saraki, after the visit, told journalists that Melaye had regained conciousness and was on drips in at the time of the visitation, saying that his condition has stabilised but he need to be monitored.
The Senate President said: “After the sitting of the Senate today (Wednesday), we decided to come here because for 24 hours, we have not heard or know the state of Senator Dino.
” We are happy that we have seen him. He is in intensive care. He is stable for now. He has not eaten for the past 24 hours. We are trying to resolve that.
He is on fluids and he has been seen by a cardiologist and all specialists. He also has a lot of underlying issues. He is asthmatic. So, we are a bit concerned. By now, we thank God he is stable.
” He is been monitored and we continue to pray for him that he fully recovers from his predicament”.
When asked whether Melaye was still on handcuffs, Saraki said: “No, he is not on handcuffs”.
Apparently furious over the alleged dehumanising treatment of Senator Melaye by the Nigeria Police, the Senate on Wednesday summoned the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to appear at plenary by 11.00 am today.
The police chief was summoned to explain the role of police in the arrest of Melaye (APC, Kogi West) over allegation of illegal possession of ammunition, over which a legal action has been instituted.
While at plenary today, the IGP is expected to answer questions on the killing of over 100 persons in the country in the last one week, especially Monday killing of worshippers in Benue State.
Irked by what was termed as sectional confrontation against the legislative institution and the Senate in particular, the senators took turn to condemned the federal government for its confrontational stance on imaginary enemies.
Resolutions on IGP’s appearance before the Senate today was sequel to a motion moved to that effect by Senator Sam Anyanwu (PDP, Imo East).
Coming under orders 14 and 15, Senator Anyanwu in the motion, said the treatment being meted on Senator Melaye was an affront to democracy since the said matter was already in court, adding that he was treated like a common criminal.
He said “All of us as Senators, are demeaned by the way Senator Melaye is being handled by the Police since Tuesday morning when he made himself available for arrest.
” It would be very wrong for us to allow things continue this way . The Inspector General of the Police must be summoned to explain why a serving Senator is being treated like a common criminal”.
Senators Chukwuka Utazi ( PDP, Enugu North), Isa Misau (APC, Bauchi Central) , Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna Central), Ubali Shittu ( APC, Jigawa North East), Ibrahim Gobir (APC, Sokoto East), Mao Ohuanbunwa (PDP, Abia North), in their contributions, faulted the executive for not following due process over the matter.
Taking the plenary spell bound for over seven minutes, Senator Shehu Sani in his contribution said : “It is a systematic pattern of violating fundamental human rights in the country.
We have seen an increasing rage toward a totalitarian state, court orders are violated and onslaught against democratic institutiond and also a clear breach and consistent erosion of our democratic values.
” Whatever you do in the course of application of the levers of power, there will always be karma for it.
“What we saw about Dino Melaye, is not going to be the history of Dino Melaye, it is going to be history of Nigeria’s democracy, it is going to be the history of the 8th National Assembly and it is going to be the history of the government in power today.
“If you use the levers of power to prosecute people, frame people, to intimidate and jail people, you should understand that life after power is longer than life in power”.
But Senators Abdullahi Adamu (APC, Nasarawa West ) and Oluremi Tinubu (APC, Lagos Central) in their contributions , cautioned against confrontational submissions by Senators.
According to Senator Adamu, what Melaye needed now was how to get him out of his present predicament and not using his ordeal to attack another arm of government.
Adamu said, “In moments like this, it is not a matter of what he did or didn’t do on the floor of this hallowed chamber.
” I think the issue is how we get him out of the situation he is in. The emphasis now is what can we do as colleagues to bring him out of this present predicament he is now in.
” The outpouring of confrontational languages does not help us in this situation. Here we are in the immunity of this chamber you say the things that have been said. It does not help the situation now”.
Similarly Senator Tinubu called for caution over the matter. She said : “If we are talking about a particular issue we should stay with it. When we begin to bring a government that a lot of people supported to be here to use whatever happened as to implicate the government, I think I’m against that.
” Immediately Senator Omo Agege was led away from here, the sanctity of this place has been taken away”.
Saraki, in his remarks on the motion, disclosed that all efforts made by him to get across to the IGP since Tuesday morning proved abortive as he stated that the IGP did not pick his calls.
Saraki said, “This action is s threat to democracy. This is not what we should be spending our energy on.
” I’ve not been able to reach the IGP since Tuesday morning as regards Senator Melaye’s arrest by the Police . To me the IGP’s action is an act of disrespect to this Institution . This kind of altitude must stop.”