Dino Melaye, the senator representing Kogi west constituency at the national assembly, says no Nigerian – including the president and governors – should have immunity.
A lot of judicial drama has been going on since the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) froze the Zenith Bank accounts of Ayo Fayose, governor of Ekiti state, with Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), saying governors can be arrested.
The senate has also put forward claims for immunity of senators, but Melaye, who weighed in on the issue while speaking to Osasu Igbinedion on The Osasu Show, has a different outlook.
“As an individual, speaking as Dino Melaye, I do not support immunity for any Nigerian irrespective of status or office. I am one of those actually propagating that the immunity clause be completely deleted in our constitution,” he said.
“The president should not have immunity, the vice president should not have immunity, the governors should not have immunity, their deputies should not have immunity.
“That would be a very very wonderful way of fighting corruption, and also instituting fear in those who have been indoctrinated with corrupt initiatives.
“I understand also, the frustration of my colleagues that are asking for immunity clause for the senate president, and the speaker of the house of representatives and their deputies.
“I understand their frustration, and their frustration is coming from the fact that it is a deliberate effort to undermine and also subject the institution of the National Assembly to become a surrogate of the executive.”
FORGERY CASE PROOF THAT CCT HAS FAILED
Melaye also expressed his thoughts on the forgery case “unjustly” levelled against the senate president and his deputy, saying it is being orchestrated because of the failure of the CCT trial against Saraki.
“What the senate president is going through in the CCT from my own myopic point of view, is not prosecution but persecution.
“We all know that he’s suffering because he had ambition to become the senate president and a man should not be punished for having ambition.
“Ambition is something every individual who wants to make progress in life should have. In fact, our president is a very ambitious person, that’s why he contested for the presidency of this country, four different times.
“So it’s not a crime to be ambitious and Bukola Saraki should not be punished for been ambitious. So the CCT trial, for as far as I’m concerned is a persecution and the case is already falling like pack of cards under cross examination and I want to believe it is because of the failure of the CCT ongoing trial that an orchestration was made for the forgery case in the High court.”
MINISTERS SCREENED WITH ‘FORGED’ RULE BOOK
Melaye said the same rule book that is being regarded as forged is the same that was used for screening ministers and passing budget 2016.
“We are senators of the 8th Republic; the document (rule book) we were given by the bureaucracy — 48 hours clear before our inauguration — is the document we work with.
“And with that same document, we have received the president into the national assembly twice. With that same document, we had a joint section with the president in attendance, with the president of South Africa.
“With that same document, we screened the ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; with that same document, we screened the chairman of INEC; with that same document, we screened the DGs.”