Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has lamented what he described as the attitude of some persons in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to hurt Nigeria’s democracy.
He said this at the plenary yesterday while reacting to the suit filed against Senator Dino Melaye by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister, of Justice Mr. Abubakar Malami, for allegedly misleading the police about an assassination attempt on his life in April 2017.
The senator, according to the suit, also falsely accused the Chief of Staff to Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, Mr. Edward Onoja, of the assassination attempt.
Saraki, while reacting yesterday, said Melaye’s arraignment which comes up on March 1, 2018, was not justified.
“I do not see how the issue of arraignment can be a way forward in a matter like this. But be that as it may, I want us all to continue to defend democracy and fight for what is right and I can assure you that this institution will continue to stand for what is right.
“Those who think that they are helping the government, but sometimes they are doing things that are not in the interest of this democracy. I think they need to do what is right for the interest of all of us. But for sure, what is wrong is wrong. I think those who are looking at this will have a review and do what is right,” Saraki added.
Speaking earlier, Melaye while raising a point of order, said he would not be cowed into silence or stop his criticisms of the wrong actions of the government, as is the intendment by the charges filed against him.
He described the suit as persecution, and expressed his readiness to pay the “supreme prize” for Nigeria’s democracy.
“If this arraignment in Kogi State is to stop me from criticising the federal government, they have committed a capital compound mistake. I shall continue to speak. I shall continue to ask questions. I shall continue to criticise any public officer, including the President of Nigeria where he has gone wrong,” Melaye said.
“I have conquered fear and I am not afraid of the prison. The last administration arrested me 14 times. The Abacha and Babangida’s governments detained me. I am not afraid of the prison. It is built because of human beings. But we will continue to speak the truth, not minding whose ox is gored,” he added.
Melaye said it is a crime to stay silent in an ‘unjust society” and vowed to defend himself in court.
“The battle to bring Nigeria back on track from these criminals in power is a battle of no retreat no surrender. I am ready to face the Federal Government on this matter. I will fight it with the last drop of my blood. No retreat, no surrender,” he added.
The matter was not subjected to debate, as a matter of personal explanation.