Dino Melaye opted to seat with PDP senators at plenary. Is this a pointer to his defection from the APC?
Melaye arrived for plenary on cervical collar after weeks of absence due to injuries sustained when he allegedly jumped down a moving Police vehicle.
The Kogi lawmaker was arrested after two suspects linked him to a case of gun running.
He was later released by the Police.
Police vs Melaye
But in a point of order on Wednesday, May 30, 2018, Melaye accused the Police of attempting to kill him during his arrest.
"It 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," Melaye announced.
He appreciated the leadership of the National Assembly, his constituents for standing by him during his recall process, and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for speaking in his favour while he was away.
Melaye failed to appreciate his party, the APC in his comments.
"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 canker worms. To me it 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 get better, it will get louder. I shall not cease to ask questions where necessary.”
Before taking his seat, Melaye requested the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to ensure a comfortable seat is provided for him due to his health condition.
He, however asked to leave the APC side of the Senate to seat beside former Senate President, David Mark, on the PDP side of the divide.
“Mr President, I want to seek your indulgence you will call in the sergeant-at-arms to look for a comfortable sit for me on this side of the divide I am no longer comfortable sitting here. I want to ask that you mandate the sergeant-at-arms to look for a sit for me before you do that I will take a sit close to general David Mark pending when you get a sit,” Melaye said.
For few minutes, the floor of the Senate was in a frenzy as Melaye was assisted to the PDP side of the upper legislative chamber.
This, many considered as cross-carpeting or decamping to the PDP from the APC.
Melaye’s action did not go down well with the APC lawmakers.
In a swift reaction, Senate leader, Ahmed Lawan appealed to Melaye to return to his allotted seat adding the seats on the APC were “better, more comfortable and well arranged”.
But Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who disagreed with Lawan urged more APC lawmakers to follow Melaye’s leading by moving to the PDP side.
Minority leader, Godswill Akpabio specifically urged Bauchi lawmaker, Isa Misau, and others to move to his side.
Senator Barau Jibrin protested saying Melaye acted in contrary to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and Senate standing rules.
In his remarks, Saraki wondered why Melaye had to move to another seat.
He, however, noted Melaye’s point and promised to see that a comfortable seat is provided for him.