For those who have always accused the Nigerian Senate of corruption and ineptitude, there is no better validation for their judgement than the appointment of Senator Dino Melaye as their representative to London for the International Anti-corruption Summit convened by the British Government.
Senator Dino Melaye is a typical example of an irrational third world politician, immersed in primitive accumulation and the ostensible show of questionable affluence in the midst of vast poverty, inequality and squalor. While Melaye has cured his financial poverty through the usurping of public office, he has profoundly failed to cure his poverty of the mind.
With all due respect, Senator Dino Melaye has no credible record for fighting corruption, or for being noble and clean from scandals and controversies. If anything, he is a contentious character for debate whenever issues regarding the misdemeanor of public officials are discussed, moral debauchery and how questions need to be asked about leaders whose only rise to unquantifiable wealth came moments after assuming public office. In a functional country, questions would be asked about a public official who lives the life of a celebrity, drug baron and has more cars than the dealership, especially in a cash-strapped economy.
Before we listen or pay attention to his rhetoric on the social media about going to London to engage in anti-corruption discourse and demand an apology from British Prime Minister David Cameron for referring to Nigeria as a fantastically corrupt country or about the fact that he has an NGO called anti-corruption network, let’s examine the person in question. His personality, political influence and interest, as well as his track-records.
From what we can see, Dino Melaye has no track record of contributing anything substantial to Nigeria’s development and neither has he used his public position to assuage the abject condition of his people who cannot even afford 3 square meals a day. Sen. Melaye is just luxuriating away in his hilltop Maitama district mansion in Abuja.
Dino has a history of thuggery and the use of violence to get what he wants and that was why he was able to muscle his way through the ranks. Nobody has spoken of him as a charismatic orator, or a proven man of integrity or intellect. But more has been said of his rascality and violence. And one of the indices is his inability to sustain a marriage.
Dino Melaye’s first wife and mother of 3, Tokumbo Fabiyi fled his home after surviving physical and emotional abuses for years. Same fate followed his next wife, Alero Falope, who was brutally tortured and physically maltreated by commando Dino. Even after these incidents that led to people around him fleeing, Dino has not faced any form of prosecution whatsoever. His net of abuse is still unfortunately flung wide and active.
Before his first spell at the National Assembly came to its disgraceful end, Dino was only synonymous with an official thug and brute. He single-handedly instituted physical violence in the House of Representatives. Images of him in torn shirts were all over the place. And as if that wasn’t sad enough, none of those fights had anything to do with the defence of the common man on the streets who elected him. But all for personal interest and aggrandizement.
When it was clear that his wealth was waning as a result of limited access to public fund, Dino appointed himself an anti-corruption activist, in order to pave way for him to return to power, which unfortunately paid off.
His anti-corruption stand is not only contradictory but a brazen charade, because it is such a slap on our collective consciousness that a man who had nothing before his time in public office, a man who up till now, cannot show any evidence of financial investments would live so lavishly and flamboyantly and still able to sell the anti-corruption gibberish across to people.
Senator Dino Melaye has in his personal possession over 15 luxury cars, which he unapologetically and with impunity shows off on the social media. These include a Rolls-Royce Wraith (worth N89 million and owned only by the super-rich and celebrities), a Range Rover, a Porsche Panamera (worth $80, 000), a Lamborghini Murcielago (worth $400, 000), a Mercedes Benz G Wagon ($100,000) and many others. He also bought a house in the exclusive Maitama District worth N1.3 billion, among other very expensive and luxury properties.
As if that wasn’t enough, in clear violation of the law that prohibits elected and public officials from operating foreign bank accounts, Senator Melaye owns an account with the Chase Manhattan Bank in New York. The CampusEdge account, opened in the name of a Daniel D. Melaye claiming to be a student, was used to pay for the removal of a tattoo which read, ‘Alero’, the name of Senator Melaye’s former wife and a victim of his domestic violence (as was with his first wife).
It is uncommon to hear that a public official is indebted to banks and still in power. Details have emerged of his
indebtedness to a number of banks, which cannot come as a surprise to anyone, considering his lifestyle.
Because of the popular reportage of his financial recklessness and controversies, Senator Melaye, who always claim to be a defender of democracy was at the forefront of the passing of the Frivolous Public Petitions Bill with the controversial clause that prescribed harsh punishment of 2 years for those who make ‘false postings’ online, a clear attempt at muzzling social media. We all know this was in a bid to gag the press, and not for any reason of curtailing false journalism. That was an action of a man who was clearly outraged by the people’s reaction to his misdeeds.
One can only ask how long it would take the EFCC to investigate Melaye’s source of wealth, and accusations of money laundering, and illegal operation of foreign banks accounts. The EFCC current aggressive anti-corruption crusade shouldn’t be limited to perceived enemies alone, or those in the opposition parties, but to self-imposing characters like Dino Melaye whose attributes raises more questions than answers.