37 days after
Melaye enjoyed chants and choruses from bystanders from the moment he stepped out of his car to the moment he made his way into the red chamber of the senate with a staff.
And no, there was no ambulance in sight.
Inside the senate, Melaye instantly became the cynosure of all eyes and the center of attention, with some of his colleagues making a beeline to pump fists with him.
The senator who was wearing a white Kaftan with a brace wrapped round his neck, made it into the senate chamber unaided.
Melaye has been in hospital since he reportedly jumped off a moving police truck as he was being driven to Lokoja for trial on charges bordering on gun running, criminal conspiracy and damaging of government property.
Senate President Bukola Sarakihas said Melaye is asthmatic.
Melaye gets dramatic
When plenary commenced on Wednesday, Melaye threw a tantrum because it wouldn’t be Melaye if none was thrown.
The senator who represents Kogi West, plainly said he wasn’t going to sit on the APC aisle of the senate.
Melaye announced he would prefer to sit on the PDP side of the aisle—just beside former Senate President David Mark--because he was no longer comfortable with his former sitting position.
Melaye said following his ordeal in the hands of the police and his ‘worsening health’since he was taken into custody, sitting beside his colleagues from the APC is not something he was looking forward to doing.
And then Melaye called for support as he got up, with PDP senators throwing their support behind him as he made his way to the PDP section of the aisle.
As you would expect, PDP senators welcomed Melaye and applauded his change of seat.
When he stood to speak, Melaye said the police tried to kill him in hospital. "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.
"I want to say that the Nigerian police attempted to kill me twice; once through the application of a chemical substance and the second time through injection. They actually came with an injection but God intervened," he added.
Melaye also appreciated the leadership of the PDP for their support while he was in hospital and during his trial.
The senator is currently on bail.
Game of seats
The APC is the majority political party in a 109-member senate. The APC has 60 senators to the PDP's 49.
Melaye was elected senator on the APC platform, but that hasn’t stopped him from criticizing his political party’s decisions in public and on his social media pages.
The senator believes he’s being victimized by his State Governor Yahaya Bello who is a member of the APC and close ally of President Muhammadu Buhari.
It remains to be seen if Melaye's drama on the floor of the senate today is a precursor to a formal announcement of his defection to the PDP.