Former senate majority leader, Ali Ndume has called on members of the upper legislative chamber to investigate the allegation by online publication Sahara Reporters that Senator Dino Melaye did not complete his first degree.
With this, the Senate on Tuesday agreed to investigate the allegation that Melaye failed out of the Geography Department at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (ABU) just as the University announced that it will make a statement on the senator’s academic status on Wednesday.
Ndume told the senate that it was important to investigate the allegation against Melaye as the senate had investigated similar allegations against members in the past.
“During the 4th Assembly, Salisu Buhari was accused of certificate forgery; he was investigated and his fate determined. After that, in the 5th Assembly, Bello Masari was accused of certificate forgery (secondary school); it was investigated and was cleared. In the 6th National Assembly, Dimeji Bankole was accused of not having NYSC certificate; it was investigated and he had to show his NYSC certificate.
“Now, that brings me to the second matter. In the National Assembly, here in the Senate of the 4th Assembly, Enwerem was accused and it was also investigated. Wabara was accused of collecting a bribe and it was investigated and determined. So, a lot of precedence had been set. Now, the second matter of privilege affects my colleague, Sheikh Dino Melaye, and it is in The Punch of today (Tuesday) on Page 10; I have the newspaper. In The Punch, it says, ‘Dino Melaye in first degree certificate scandal.’”
He added, “Therefore, accordingly, I will appeal we refer the matter to the Ethics and Privileges Committee to investigate so that our colleagues would be cleared and this Senate will stand as it is supposed to.”
Melaye, who is a member of the ethics committee told reporters he was ready to be probed. He also said he would suspend his membership of the panel pending the determination of the case.
He said, “I’m here to respond to the issue raised by the senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Ali Ndume. Democracy is about investigation and no senator is above investigation. To me, it is a welcome development and it will finally clear the air on all the malicious and vindictive allegations.
Also following the prompting of Ndume, the senate also agreed to investigate a report by Sahara Reporters that the senate was moving against the Comptroller General of the Customs because of the seizure of a Sport Utility Vehicle belonging to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
Saraki has denied the report as completely false.