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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

‘My APC Seat No Longer Comfortable’ — Melaye Sits With PDP Senators On Return To Plenary

Dino Melaye, the senator representing Kogi West at the National Assembly, resumed plenary on Wednesday after his ordeal with the police and the courts in Abuja and Lokoja. However, the All Progressives Party (APC) senator declined to seat on the chair allotted to him as an APC senator, instead picking a seat among the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members.

At Wednesday’s sitting, Melaye asked Senate President Bukola Saraki for permission to leave his designated seat to move in the opposite side of the Senate chamber.
 
He said his present seat was no longer comfortable for him, and specifically requested to be given a seat beside former Senate President, David Mark.

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“Mr President, I want to say that the Nigerian police attempted to kill me twice, one through the application of a chemical substance and the second time through injection. They actually came with an injection but God intervened,” he said.

“Having appreciated God for his love and kindness and protection upon my soul, I want to specially acknowledge the Nigerian Senate under the capable leadership and irremovable President of the Senate. I want to thank you for your love, for your concern, for speaking for me and the course of democracy.

“I will not also conclude my appreciation without appreciating the indomitable Speaker of the House of Representatives and indeed the House of Representatives. I thank them immensely for showing that an injury to one is an injury to all.

“The National Chairman of PDP and the executive of the PDP in Kogi State I salute you. I thank Nigerians for their support. The battle to salvage this country from financial scavengers and economic cankerworms, to me, is a battle of no retreat, no surrender.

“We must salvage this country together we don’t have any other to call our own. As my voice gets better, it will get louder. I shall not cease to ask questions where necessary.”

Making request for a new seat, he said: “Mr. President, I want to seek your indulgence to call in the Sergeant-at-Arms to look for a comfortable seat for me on this side of the divide. I am no longer comfortable sitting here,” he said.

“I want to ask that you mandate the Sergeant-at-Arms to look for a seat for me, but before you do that, I will take a seat close to General David Mark.”
 
Kicking against Melaye’s move to switch seats, APC lawmakers argued that it was unconstitutional to occupy any space other than one’s allotted seat. However, PDP lawmakers welcomed the change.
 
It will be recalled that Melaye’s attempted recall flopped, due to low turnout for the verification of signatures on the recall petition.

Results announced by INEC at the end of the exercise showed that only 18,742 signatories to the recall petition were verified, out of the 189,870 signatories it bore
 The verified signatories fell well below the requirement of the law that 50 per cent and one of the signatories must be verified before the recall process can continue.

Meanwhile, his trial for alleged gunrunning is still ongoing

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