WE'LL JAIL BANKOLE â€“ DINO MELAYE
Suspended leader of the Progressives in the House of Representatives, Mr. Dino Melaye, has described the recent fracas in the House as 'a collaborative tyranny of majority over the progressive minority.
He vowed that no amount of beating or tearing of his clothes would deter him and members of his group from pursuing what they believed was a genuine cause.
He spoke with Daily Sun in Iyara, Ijumu Local Government Area, Kogi State: 'A situation where the hunter has turned the hunted is unfortunate.
But the victory of evil over good is temporary and evaporative. We will not stop until we accomplish our aim of sending Bankole to jail.' Excerpts
'What happened in the house can be described as a collaborative tyranny. It was a situation whereby the majority used their violent tendencies on the few.
The truth of the matter is that, the victory of evil over good is temporary and evaporative. What actually happened was that Chile Ogawua, the man who moved the motion for our suspension did not actually raise the point of order.
The Speaker just finished referring the petition of the day to the Petitions Committee and said Ogawua should now have the floor, which is seriously against our rule.
'If you want to raise a case of privilege that he raised, he was supposed to raise the point of order. He did not do so. I do know that Dimeji Bankole does not have the celestial powers to read people's minds.
So, he called on me and I raised the point of order. Our rules say at every point in time, if a point of order is raised, it must be respected. When I raised the point of order and Dimeji refused to recognize me, I insisted he must respect my point of order. That was what actually led to the fracas.
'You see, Dimeji was the first to breach the rules of the House by recognizing somebody who did not raise a point of order. Even look at the point of order that was raised in the point of privilege. He quoted the privilege Act Cap 24 that talks about false, malicious and scandalous publication.'
'The truth of the matter is that the House does not have the powers or jurisdiction to give judgment on what publication that is malicious, scandalous or false. Only a competent court of law can determine that. But Dimeji became a policeman, he became a judge and passed judgment on the floor. That's what we are challenging now from the court of law. Femi Falana filed our case last Friday and by the grace of God I think the first hearing is coming up on Tuesday.
'The battle to salvage our country is a battle of no retreat, no surrender, no amount of beating, no amount of tearing my clothes, no amount of discouragement can deter us from fighting a genuine cause. Whatever Dimeji and his cohorts are saying, are just cock and bull story, a product of misinformation.
'We are very resolute on our resolve. Until we accomplish our aim to jail Dimeji, we will not stop fighting for justice in this country. We have no other country to call our own. This is the only country we have and we cannot keep quiet.
'It is a crime to keep silent when a crime is being committed. Section 4 of the Constitution guarantees freedom of expression, freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
Sections 88 and 2b of the Constitution gives us the power to expose corruption, to expose inefficiency and wastages in government. Section 36 also gives us the freedom of expression and the code of conduct in the House of Representatives, Section 7.6 says 'it is a crime for you not to expose corruption.' Now that we have exposed corruption, the hunter has become the hunted. This is unfortunate.