The Senate, on Wednesday, abruptly ended its plenary, in solidarity with Senator Dino Melaye, who is being held by the Nigeria Police Force at the National Hospital, Abuja.
The closure of the Senate, followed the adoption of a a prayer moved by Senator Mao Ohuabunwa.
The Senate resolved to summon the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to explain the circumstances that led to the harassment, arrest and detention of Melaye.
The police IG is expected to appear before Senate in plenary by 11am, Thursday April 26th, to explain an alleged inhuman treatment being meted to the embattled senator from Kogi state.
President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who presided, lamented that he has been unable to speak with the IG of police in the last 48 hours.
He said what is happening to Melaye is an attack on the Senate, and called on those in places of authorities to follow the rule of law.
He said: “I know that times like this, it is difficult to speak the truth because it is clear that it is a violation on all of us, the institution and democracy.
“This action whether we want to admit it or not is a threat to this democracy we are all fighting for. The excesses must be contained in the interest of all of us.
“We are about to start elections and these are the kind of excesses that those that are supposed to be responsible to provide law and order it is of great concern in this country.
“This is not what we should be expending our energy on. Even me for the last 48 hours, I have not been able to reach the IGP. I think that is not a disrespect to me as an individual, but to this institution because you cannot talk about security without collaboration with the legislature.
“This attitude must stop if we want to sustain and create an enabling environment for our democracy. We are not talking about the merit of what he did and what he did not do. There is procedure and there are ways of finding this out”, Saraki lamented.
Lawmakers who took turns to condemn what they described as “denigration and calculated onslaught against the institution of the Senate,” said the move will be resisted.
Senator Samuel Anyanwu, drew the attention of his colleagues to the arrest, detention and hospitalisation of Melaye on the alleged orders of the IG of police.
Anyanwu who came under privileges, told the Senate that he was aware that Melaye was being treated “like a common”.
“Senator Peter Nwaoboshi is held by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and nobody is allowed to see him. The Senate should immediately take up the matter to ensure that Melaye does not continue to suffer this orchestrated dehumanizing and inhuman treatment.
Earlier in the day, two, out of four senators were barred from seeing Melaye, who is currently said to be in the intensive care unit of the National Hospital, Abuja.
The four lawmakers were sent by the Senate to ascertain the true position of things. Deputy Leader of the Senate, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, who led three other senators, said police officers attached to the unit of the hospital, said they were under strict instructions not to allow them see Melaye.
Na’Allah explained: ““We went to the National Hospital this morning where Senator Dino was alleged to have been kept from yesterday and we confirmed that he was brought yesterday at about 11 pm.
“We spoke to the doctor who is in charge of the ICU and they assured us that they are doing everything humanly possible to stabilize him but he is in the intensive care unit. We tried as much as possible to see him but we were refused access. The instruction that was left by the Police is that only Senator Abu Ibrahim and Senator Kaka are permitted to see him.
Saraki later visited the hospital in company of 40 senators to see Melaye. Only Saraki and 7, out of over 40 lawmakers, were allowed to see Melaye.
Briefing newsmen later, Saraki said the embattled lawmaker, Melaye was in a stable condition. He also revealed that the handcuffs had been removed. He didn’t disclose any other thing that transpired.
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