ODUAH’S BMW CAR SCANDAL: ANEEJ CONDEMNS DINO MILAYE’S ARREST OVER PROTEST
BENIN CITY—- Former House of Representatives member and Executive Secretary, Anti-Corruption Network, Dino Melaye was on the 23rd of October, 2013 arrested by the Nigerian Police during a protest at the Federal Secretariat in Abuja. Dino led a group of protesters to the Federal Secretariat, Abuja around noon calling for the sack of the Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah, over the purchase of two BMW armoured cars.
Drama ensued during the protest as another group emerged from nowhere to stage a counter protest to drum up support for the minister. The police led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police in the FCT, Sunday Olukoya, arrived at the scene and promptly arrested Dino Melaye’s group. They were taken away in a Toyota Hilux van, marked NPS 21280.
The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) condemns in its entirety the arrest of Dino Melaye and therefore call for his immediate release. According to the Executive Director of ANEEJ, Rev David Ugolor, “the arrest of Dino Melaye is an attempt to intimidate voices calling for the investigation of the prodigal act of the aviation minister. It’s an attempt to stampede oppositions”
“But what the government does not understand is the fact that the international community is watching every step they take. Just at a time when Nigeria just submitted her report to the Human Right Council proclaiming the nations progress report on human right, a citizen is being arrested for protesting against corruption in the land, I weep for this nation” Ugolor exclaimed.
It would be recalled that a United States based online publication, Sahara Reporters recently reported that the aviation minister had compelled the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, to purchase two BMW cars worth N255 million for her.
Expectedly, the story went viral on the internet for days before the Ministry of Aviation confirmed to a national newspaper recently that the cars had been bought for the minister because her life is under real and imminent threat. The newspaper quoted Mr. Joe Obi, Special Assistant on Media to the Minister, as saying that the two armoured BMW cars were to protect his boss from “imminent threats.”
ANEEJ in a press release had called on the Presidency and the National Assembly statutorily charged with oversight duties to swing into action and bring all those involved in the car scandal to justice and as expected, the House of Representative Committee on Aviation has been mandated to investigate the issue.
We therefore call for the immediate resignation or sacking of the aviation minister, while condemning the arrest of Dino Melaye and therefore call for his immediate release.