Sahara Reporters and Senator Dino Melaye battle gets messier by the minute, as attention is now being paid to a 2008 report of the United States Department of State naming Senator Dino Melaye as a murder suspect.
The report which was prepared by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour on March 11, 2008, summarises major issues of human rights violations in Nigeria including extra-judicial killings and unresolved murders in the year 2007.
A paragraph of the said report reads:
“On August 19, Victor Obafaiye, the principal witness for the Action Congress in the Kogi State election tribunal, was assassinated. Obafaiye was crucial to the case as he was supposedly in possession of documents that would have served as evidence of election tampering by PDP House of Assembly candidate Dino Melaye.”
Dino Melaye was however elected as a member of the Federal House of Representatives in 2007 on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He was never a member of the Kogi state house of assembly as the report may suggest.
Dino Melaye as candidate of the PDP, defeated an opponent sponsored by the Action Congress which later transformed into Action Congress of Nigeria before eventually morphing into the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the 2015 general elections.
Senator Melaye joined the APC just as it was formed and participated in a number of public advocacy campaigns including the BringBackOurGirls group thereby gaining some measure of visibility which he leveraged upon to return to the National Assembly.
Sahara Reporters and Dino Melaye have been in a heated exchange of words about different issues over the years. It was therefore not surprising to see Sahara Reporters latch on to on to the 2008 US department of state report in accusing Melaye of assassinating a former witness of his new party while he was in an opposing camp.
SaharaReporters has repeatedly questioned the source of his wealth and the propriety of acquiring expensive automobiles while his constituents lived in poverty.
Following the refusal of the senate to confirm President Muhammadu Buhari’s nomination of Mr Ibrahim Magu as the substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Melaye raised an alarm that he was about to be targeted with false accusations.
A few days later, Sahara Reporters published claims that the senator never graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) as he claimed and supplied pictures purporting to prove its allegations.
Dino Melaye responded by daring the newspaper to sue him to court just as he challenged the EFCC to arrest him. He also boasted of having 7 degrees from top universities including Harvard and the London School of Economics (LSE) but both schools have since faulted his claims.
ABU is yet to formally clarify whether Melaye indeed graduated from the institution or not, as promised.