Dino Melaye, the embattled senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, has denied social media reports that he was among the federal lawmakers who booed President Muhammadu Buhari on December 19.
Some federal parliamentarians embarrassed Buhari while presenting the 2019 national budget on that day by passing uncomplimentary remarks on him on the occasion.
But Melaye, who is still recuperating in a police hospital in Abuja, said he could not have been part of his colleagues’ action because he did not attend the event.
The senator in a statement signed by his media aide, Gideon Ayodele, said the rebuttal was not born out of fear but to put the records straight.
The statement read, “The attention of Senator Dino Melaye has been drawn to a malicious reference to his person on the social media as one of the lawmakers who booed President Muhammadu Buhari during his 2019 Budget presentation before a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday, December 19, 2018.
“Before now, he (Melaye) had refused to refute the mischievous social media fabrication for what it is — a cheap lie — Senator Dino Melaye was not in the National Assembly that day.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Distinguished Senator Dino Melaye was absent at the televised 2019 budget presentation session and hereby challenges anyone with contrary proof to come forward with such.”
Melaye willingly surrendered himself to the police on Friday, eight days after the security operatives laid siege to his private residence in Abuja.
He collapsed afterward and was rushed to a police hospital for urgent medical attention.
The Nigeria Police Force has deployed about 60 operatives in the Police Hospital, Garcia, Abuja, where Melaye was being treated.
Checks by our correspondent on Saturday showed that operatives were on duty at the entrance and exit points of the hospital with additional men on the premises.
Melaye was said to have been stabilized by doctors at the hospital where he was taken after he slumped shortly before interrogation at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad facility in Guzape, Abuja.
Sources say medical personnel were considering a cardiopulmonary test on the lawmaker following certain observations by his doctor.
It was gathered that the doctor might recommend Melaye’s transfer to a better equipped medical facility for a more robust medical treatment.
The police said the lawmaker was wanted for the alleged shooting of one Sgt. Danjuma Saliu, attached to 37 Police Mobile Force while on stop and search duty along Aiyetoro Gbede, Mopa Road in Kogi State.
The Force spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, stated that Melaye had repeatedly spurned several invitations asking him to report for an investigation into the case of attempted culpable homicide, noting that he would be charged to court after investigation.