“Even If Melaye Is Pretending, He Can’t Pretend Forever,” – Dogara On Melaye’s Police Harassment
Yakubu Dogara, a speaker of the house of representatives, says even if Dino Melaye, a senator representing Kogi west, is pretending, he cannot pretend forever.
Dogara said this while addressing state house correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Senate President Bukola Saraki also attended the meeting and spoke with reporters alongside Dogara.
Reporters had asked the speaker if the issue of Melaye was raised in the discussion with Buhari and he responded: “Of course, anything that happens to 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 a democracy, and it is imperative and 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 upgraded barbarians sort of. So, there is a need for us to act with civility. We are not saying that anybody should be protected and defended. Once you have committed an offence, our law says you should answer it, but you just have to utilize the provision of the constitution, the rule of law and this administration of Buhari has overemphasised that in order to bring people to book.
“But a situation where people are wheeled to court, that doesn’t give a good image of our democracy. I have not seen a democracy where people are wheeled to court when they are not in the proper frame of mind and they are forced to undergo trial. Whatever it is, even if Dino is pretending as some have said in some sections 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 a proper frame of mind.
“As a lawyer, I can tell you that any judge that assesses an accused person who is not 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.”