Senator Dino Melaye who is currently on admission at the National Hospital has thanked his constituents for rejecting attempts to recall him from Senate, saying every lie has expiry date.
The Senator, who is representing Kogi West, in a Tweet on Sunday appreciated people of his constituents for standing by him and having confidence in him.
“Every lie has an expiry date. Forces of evil will never triumph over forces of light. God is with us
“Thank you my people. God bless you all. Thank you for the confidence reposed on me. I will not let you down. I will always stand by the truth and the people at all times. God bless Kogi west,” his tweet read.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the early hours of Sunday declared that the recall exercise on Saturday had failed after the verified signatories to the petition for his recall fell short of requirements
For the verification exercise to succeed, 50 percent plus one of the signatories to the petition had to be verified.
However, based on the results announced by Professor Ukertor Gabriel Moti, the Declaration Officer for the exercise held in the senatorial district on Saturday, only 18,742 of the 189,870 of the signatories to the petition for the Senator’s recall were verified by INEC.
The verified signatories represent 5.34 percent of the 351,146 registered voters in the Senatorial district.
Melaye reacted to the news of the failed attempt to recall him from his hospital bed in the National Hospital where he is receiving treatment after he reportedly jumped out of a moving police vehicle in a bid to escape and sustained injuries.
In a suit, he prayed the court to declare the petition his constituents presented to INEC for his recall as illegal.
He had also prayed the court for a declaration that the petition forwarded to INEC was invalid and of no effect, alleging that it was signed by fictitious, dead and none existing persons.
INEC had through its lawyer, Sulayman Ibrahim, requested accelerated hearing of the suit during vacation. It earlier asked the court to vacate the interim order that stopped it from going ahead with the recall process.
The Commission said it was constrained under section 69 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, to conclude the recall process within 90 days.
The people of the western senatorial district of Kogi State have kick-started the process of recalling Senator Dino Melaye from the National Assembly.
The exercise which took place across the seven local government that form the district indicated that the people were desirous of recalling him for poor representation at the Senate.
Some electorates who spoke to JOURNAL in Yagba west, Yagba east, Ijumu, Mopa/Moro and Kabba/Bunu local government said they have started collating signatures in various wards in the councils to remove Senator Dino Melaye from the National Assembly.
According to them, Senator Melaye has not deemed it fit to have a constituency office in Kogi West Senatorial Zone even after two years in the Senate, saying he has no presence in the district.
They also complained that the lawmaker has no projects initiated in the constituency after two years in the Senate, stressing that he could not bring home any dividends of democracy to the senatorial district.
The people, therefore, vowed to complete the recalling process to enable them elect someone who will represent them adequately in the Senate.
The Senator Representing Kogi West, Senator Dino Melaye, and Senator Smart Adeyemi, on Sunday continued their bitter feud by trading accusations when they appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
Senator Adeyemi who lost the Kogi West Senatorial election to Senator Melaye in 2015 insisted that he won the election but the results were manipulated.
Melaye in turn denied the claim, describing Senator Adeyemi as a desperate man who was out to distort the truth.
Both men also traded accusations over their achievements and contributions to the constituency, while also disagreeing on the performance of the Kogi State Governor, Mr Yahaya Bello.
Senator Melaye, who was a staunch supporter of the governor in the early months of his tenure, has since fallen out with him and called for his resignation or impeachment.
Melaye made the call after the Independent National Electoral Commission accused the governor of registering twice to vote.
But Senator Adeyemi, who has defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progresives Congress defended the governor, saying he understood what he met when he was inaugurated.
On his election, Adeyemi alleged that Senator Melaye colluded with electoral officials and later on members of the judiciary to deny him justice.
“We contested elections and at the end of the day, I was told they had changed the results,” he said, while presenting what he said was a copy of the manipulated result sheet.
“These are the results; you can see alterations widely.”
Chairman Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Dino Melaye, has applauded President Mohammadu Buhari’s suspension of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr David Babachir Lawal, and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke.
He made this known in an interview on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.
“I’ll start by saying, that was a very fantastic move by Mr President, I welcome the suspension, especially that of the SGF, and though very belated, it’s a welcome development and I congratulate the President for taking such a bold step and we hope that decisions would also be taken in this manner on some other pending controversial issues.
Speaking on the “other pending issues”, he explained that “there are a lot of individuals that have been investigated or not cleared by the Nigerian Senate and we expect that with unity of purpose as enshrined in the constitution between the legislature and the executive, the executive should be more proactive especially in decision making.
“A times, when you delay in taking some decisions, it creates some bad blood and it discourages the spirit of the fight against corruption because when you delay very important decisions, it begins to send a signal that we are being lackadaisical in the fight against corruption.”
While also praising the President, he expressed dissatisfaction over the committee that was set up to investigate the issues surrounding the suspension.
“The President has done well by the suspension but I do not subscribe to the committee that was set up by Mr President,” Melaye said.
According to him, this was because he expected the President to wait for the report of the Senate on the SGF especially when there had already been a communication between the Presidency and the Senate, requesting for a final report.
“I do not understand why a new committee would be set up to look into the matter when already the President is expecting a final report from the legislature and we are doing this within the confines of the constitution.”
He however noted that the committee is currently working assiduously to complete their investigation regardless, and he gave the assurance that the revelations would be sterling.
The Nigerian Senate is set to investigate the allegation against the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, over the seizure of a bulletproof Sports Utility Vehicle by the Nigeria Customs Service.
The Customs was said to have seized the vehicle belonging to the Senate President for unpaid duties valued at 74 million Naira.
The Upper Chamber said it would also investigate the allegation that one of its members representing Kogi State, Senator Dino Melaye, did not obtain a degree from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria as claimed in the document submitted to the Senate.
The lawmakers reached the decision to begin the investigations on Tuesday after the former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, raised a point of order at plenary asking the Senate to look into the issues.
The matters have been referred to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions for investigation.
The Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory has directed security agencies in Abuja to clear the city of beggars, hawkers and commercial sex workers.
Briefing journalists at the National Assembly, the Chairman of the committee, Senator Dino Melaye, said the evacuated persons would be taken to a rehabilitation centre in Bwari before they are sent to their respective states.
“We also (last week) summoned the Commissioner of Police of the FCT, and the Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps because we are (as a committee and the Senate, we are appall with the security situation in Abuja.
“We are very uncomfortable with the number of hoodlums on our streets in Abuja.
“You have beggars, destitute and commercial sex workers spread across every nook and cranny of the city.
“We have also asked the FCT to immediately put in order, the rehabilitation camp in Bwari that has been specifically and specially built for those arrested on the streets,” the lawmaker said.
Senator Melaye also announced plans by the committee to transfer the maintenance of street lights and environmental cleaning to banks and corporate organisations.
He noted that the banks are to take over the cleaning of streets in the city centre, as well as maintaining public facilities as part of their corporate social responsibility.
The Federal Government has reviewed the parameters in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, made this known at an interactive session with the Senate Committee on Finance.
Speaking on Tuesday in Abuja, Senator Udoma noted that the Federal Government set the benchmark price of crude at $42.5 per barrel.
He adds that the new deficit to GDP ratio is now at 2.18 while the official exchange rate is now 305 up from 290 to a dollar earlier set.
Economic growth rate has also been reduced from 3.02% to 2.5%.
Meanwhile, the Senate is to probe the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over the failure of one of its subsidiaries, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) to remit over five billion dollars to the Federation Account.
Senator Dino Melaye, in a motion, alleged that since 2013 to date, the NPDC has continued to lift crude oil from divested oil wells OML 61, 62 and 63 worth over $3.487 billion without remitting to the Federation Account.
The Senate has mandated its committees of petroleum upstream and finance to investigate the level of the alleged corruption with a view to recovering every fund due to the Federation Account.
Lawmakers at the National Assembly have held separate sessions over the proposed concessioning of four airports by the Nigerian government.
Thursday’s proceedings at the House of Representatives public hearing was centred on how to rescue the aviation industry from the imminent collapse.
The legislators at the lower house deliberated on the planned concession of some airports and some past agreements which have degenerated into a legal tussle.
Some stakeholders in the sector such as the Chairman of Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited, Wale Babalakin and the Deputy General Manager of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Monica Alphonse, made presentations to a committee of lawmakers over the matter.
The committee also heard from the Deputy Director of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Onyinye Ahuchogu, on the issue of foreign exchange for the aviation sector.
They consequently directed the CBN to put a special exchange rate in place for the sector.
The committee hinted that it would present the recommendations to the leadership of the House at the end of the public hearing.
Meanwhile, the Senate has resolved to support the steps being taken by the Federal Government to intervene in the current challenges being faced by the industry.
The resolution followed a motion sponsored by a member of the Senate from Kogi State, Senator Dino Melaye.
Senator Melaye expressed concern over the emerging challenges facing the aviation sector as a result of the current economic downturn.
A Senator of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Dino Melaye, is insisting on the sacking or voluntary resignation of the economic team of the Nigerian President, saying the current economic hardship does not represent the party’s campaign promises.
The Senator, who is from Kogi State, said that his political affiliation should not be considered, as he was only concerned about what will make the lives of Nigerians better.
“It is about the survival of democracy, the Nigerian populace and having a just and egalitarian society.
“There is no policy direction of the economic team. We have not seen anything that will show as hope for the revival of the economy.
“I am a proud member of the APC and I am very confident of my loyalty to my party, but what we have at hand… with most of the Ministers it is a matter of double jeopardy. No capacity no capability,” he stressed.
Asked why the Senate could not identify the capacity of the individuals before their names were approved, Senator Melaye explained that the names came without portfolios and that it was difficult to base screening on particular expertise.
“We were screening them without knowing the ministries they were going to man.”
He pointed out that with the economic hardship Nigerians were facing, “it is no longer about your political party. It is about the survival of this country and about the masses of the country”.
‘Competence For The Office’
On the positions of the members of the economic team the Senator pointed out that he had no personal condemnation of any individual, but stressed that he was only being truthful.
“I have no problem with anyone of them, but the truth need to be told. It has no colour.
“The Budget and Planning Ministry is the soul of any government or economy and you need somebody who has expertise in public finance and somebody who specialises in development economics to man the place
“Udo Udoma is a gentleman, a wonderful lawyer and a great Nigerian, but that does not translate into competence for the office he finds himself.
“Now, you bring a lawyer to become the Minister of National Planning, that is giving carpentry job to a tailor, he will never succeed”.
On the position of the Finance Minister, Senator Melaye said that Mrs Kemi Adeosun had appeared before the Senate on two different occasions and that from his assessment, she lacked needed competence to handle the position.
“From my personal assessment, she does not have the competence.
“How many million dollars’ portfolio has she handled or managed before becoming the Minister of Finance. The Finance Minister should be someone that can take us out of the woods.
“We cannot continue to operate in an experimental level that is not working,” he insisted.
The Senator lamented about the nature of things, stressing that Nigerians are facing untold hardship with an unknown end.
“You need to understand the hunger that is out there.
“I have a role to play in the success of the party. It is in response to the promise we made to Nigerians.
“There is hunger. There is poverty,” he emphasised, hinging his demand for the team’s sacking on these factors.
Refuse To Be Distracted
Senator Melaye’s comments have continued to draw diverse views, with another lawmaker with the House of Representatives, Honourable Abdulmumin Jibrin, who is also a member of the APC, defending the President and his team.
Honourable Jibrin, who was the former Chairman of the Appropriation Committee in the House of Representatives, said that the President was not to blame on the state of Nigeria’s economy.
In a statement he said: “It is unfair and very wicked to push such blame on a man who just came on board barely a year ago.
“Not even a magician can turn around the economy within a period of one year.
“The biggest spending in our economy, that is the budget, hasn’t even run a full course of one year. Yet, some people want to crucify President Muhammadu Buhari. Haba! Let’s face reality!
“We all know how badly oil price has gone, a situation that adversely affected our foreign reserves and mounted pressure on the naira.
“No matter what approach we adopt to manage and deal with the situation, recovery will be slow. It is not President Buhari’s fault.
“Everyone seems to forget when the whole country was supporting more spending as against saving. But here we are today, soaked in the rainy day. President Buhari should not be used as anybody’s scape goat,” he insisted.
On the competence of the ministers the lawmaker countered Senator Melaye’s claims, saying that “a minister doesn’t have to know everything.
“A minister has an ample latitude to draw knowledge from the MDAs staff or within the larger society to achieve result in his ministry.
“I believe that most of the present cabinet ministers can source information or knowledge from these reservoirs when the need arises.
“I have worked very closely with most of them and I am convinced that they have proved their mettle despite managing a very difficult situation that they did not create.
“I am sure nobody can question the competence of Udoma Udoma. Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun is also doing her best, and having worked with her, I am convinced she has all it takes to turn around the economy.
“The Central Bank Governor is managing the most challenging period the apex bank has ever witnessed.
“I think the president has worked with this team for about a year. His cabinet team understands him better and vice-versa”.
He expressed the belief that if the economic team stayed focused and refused to be distracted, Nigerians would begin to see the dividends.
Honourable Jibrin then urged President Buhari not to fall for the trap of people trying to distort the progress made so far.
“Whoever he appoints again, the call for sack will never stop,” he added.
A Civil Society Organisation, Zero Corruption Coalition, has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over what it called diversion of funds and a breach in the nation’s Public Procurement Act by Manitoba Hydro Limited.
Founder of the Organisation, Senator Dino Melaye, who was at the EFCC headquarters to submit the petition, alleged that the company fraudulently diverted funds meant to improve the nation’s electricity supply.
Some officials of the EFCC were on hand to receive the petition.
Senator Melaye said that he expects the EFCC to act swiftly to address the issue.