Home News Assembly leadership discussed Melaye with Buhari, not impeachment process — Saraki, Dogara

Assembly leadership discussed Melaye with Buhari, not impeachment process — Saraki, Dogara

Buhari with the National Assembly leadership

The leadership of the National Assembly has reported the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to President Muhammadu Buhari for failing to appear before the Senate the second time in one week over the issue of Sen. Dino Melaye.

Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, made this known to State House correspondents on Monday after a closed door meeting with the President in Abuja.

Saraki said they raised the issue of Sen. Melaye with the President because of the refusal of the IGP to honour Senate’s invitations.

“Just talking about the issue of the police, we also of course raised the non-appearance of the Inspector-General of Police at the Senate and felt that we must continue to ensure there is adherence to constitutional authority.

“He is a great concern, this is the first time it happened and that matter needs to be addressed considering the importance that the power of the constitution that gives investigative power also gives it us.

“And that there is need for the police to accept that they too are under that constitution and they must obey that; we raised that concern.’’

The Senate President, who stated that the leadership of NASS was in the Villa on the invitation of the President, gave an assurance that the appropriation bill would be passed by the NASS next week, if laid before it this week.

He said: “Well, we came on the invitation of Mr President. He wanted to brief us on his trip to the United States and also the issue of the budget.

“We also talked on the issue of concerns to us, the invasion of the National Assembly, which he showed great concern and said action will be taken to investigate that. Well, hopefully it should be laid this.

“If it can be laid this week and passed early next week but we are hoping it will be laid this week.’’

Dogara, who also spoke on the outcome of the meeting, said the NASS leadership did not discuss the issue of impeachment process which was raised at the National Assembly two weeks ago.

He, however, frowned at the way and manner the police handled the case of Sen. Dino Melaye.

He said: “Of course anything that happens to one of our members or any member of the National Assembly is of concern to us. And there is no way we can have this kind of meeting without raising that.

“This is a civilian administration, it is democracy and it is imperative and very very important that all institutions of democracy operate within the ambit of the rule of law.

“There is nowhere, I have said it before that police will behave in a democracy like a clan of tribesmen, like an upgraded barbarians sort of.

“So there is need for us to act with civility. We are not saying that anybody should be protected and defended. Once you have committed an offense, our law said you should answer it but you just have to utilize the provision of the constitution.’’

The Speaker also condemned the situation where Melaye was wheeled to court by the police, saying that the rule of law must be observed to safeguard the image of the Buhari administration

“A situation where people are wheeled to court, that doesn’t give good image of our democracy. I have not seen a democracy where people are wheeled to court, they are not in the proper frame of mind and they are forced to undergo trail.

“Whatever it is, even if Dino is pretending as some have said it in some section of the media, he cannot pretend forever.

“He is there, he will not run away, he is a senator and he can be tried any time he is in proper frame of mind.

“As a lawyer, I can tell you, any judge that assesses an accused person not to be in a proper frame of mind, even if the accused person pleads guilty, he is duty bound by law to record a plea of guilty if he is not satisfied as to the soundness of the mind of the accused person.

“So the emphasis is there and I believe the president being a listening president will definitely take steps and do something about it,’’ he added.

Melaye is currently facing two separate court trials in Lokoja and Abuja over alleged criminal activity with other arrested suspects and attempted suicide.