Opinion

The Travails of Dino Melaye

By Eric Elezuo and Promise Oshewa

Just like the playlet, The Trial of Bro Jero by Wole Soyinka, the case of the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Dino Melaye, has revealed certain lapses among those in authority. Popularly known for his hit song, ‘Ajeku Iya’ which trended on the social media, Melaye’s ordeal began when he spoke against Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State’s inability pay pensioners and workers for about 15 months, in addition to the closure of the state major tertiary institution as a result of the same non-payment of stipends even after allegedly receiving bailout fund of N20 million from the Federal Government.

Melaye has seen himself as the unofficial speaker of the people in the House of Assembly, having been in the forefront of attacking anything he feels is draconian or anti-people. He has attacked the President, the Customs’ boss, Mr. Hameed Ali, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission boss, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, even the Police IGP, Ibrahim Idris among others he perceived to be enemies of the hallowed institution of the Senate and the Nigerian people.

For the observers, it was a matter of time before the forces Melaye was fighting against come after him. This began with the purported recall of the senator by his constituency, where a great deal of signatures was received including, according to witnesses, signatures of dead people. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) followed up like process like a revenue generating business. However, the whole exercise nose-dived recently as a result people’s apathy to the verification of the signatures.

There was also another issue where dare-devil criminals were paraded as having confessed to being Melaye’s thugs. They reported that the embattled senator has been supplying them with both funds and ammunitions to silence perceived political enemies, as well as be in readiness to create mayhem during the 2019 general elections.

Ever since, the fragile peace the out of favour senator enjoyed has been eroded. His life, as he cried out, was in danger. Yet, he continued to echo his voice in the National Assembly

On a good number of occasions, he has been attacked. At a time, sporadic shootings were reported in his home, which lasted for over an hour, and according to him “the police never showed up till after three hours of the incident’. It was also reported that he escaped unhurt after his bulletproof car was fired at.

Melaye has pointed accusing fingers at his state governor, who he believes is acting scripts co-written with the Federal Government.

Matters came to a head a forthnight ago when the Police insisted that he must go to Lokoja and face trial on charges bordering on armed robbery, kidnapping among others. He claimed he has an Abuja Court injunction to face trial in Abuja because according to him, his life is not safe in Lokoja. The Police will not hear of that, and so arrangements were made to forcefully take him to Lokoja, but in a commando move, he jumped out of the moving truck, in what the Police was an attempted suicide, for which he is currently facing trial at the moment.

On Thursday May 3, the lawmaker was arraigned at Wuse Zone 2 Chief Magistrate Court in Abuja after securing a N90 million bail in Abuja on Wednesday, but he was swiftly re-arrested him and detained him at the force headquarters.  After the court case, he was denied bail and charged with attempted suicide and to make official report every Monday to Abuja.

Many, especially, the Jonathanians believe that Melaye is paying a just price for his roles in the prelude to the 2015 general elections where he spared no expense in mouthing, without reservation, the person and position of the then President Goodluck Jonathan. They believe that he is exactly reaping the just fruit of the change he so stoically helped to bring about.

While nobody has owned up being responsible for Senator Melaye’s travails, the question remains has the un-forgetful nemesis finally caught up with him?

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