Senate Investigates Saraki, Melaye Over Forgery

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The Senate yesterday ordered that its president, Bukola Saraki and Senator Dino Melaye be investigated over allegations bordering on forgery.
Specifically, the Red Chamber directed its Ethics and Privileges Committee to investigate Saraki and Melaye in order to ascertain whether or not the former imported a car with fake Customs papers and whether the latter forged a certificate of the Ahmadu Bello University as they are being accused.
It all started when former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, raised a motion drawing the attention of the lawmakers to media reports on alleged seizure of a car belonging to Saraki and Melaye’s certificate scandal.
Observing that the two allegations had made the Senate a subject of public condemnation, Ndume requested that the allegations against the two lawmakers be investigated to ensure that there was no abuse of legislative privileges by them.
According to him, allegations that the Senate invited Hameed Ali because he reportedly seized a bullet-proof Range Rover belonging to Saraki for not having the proper papers needed to be looked into before the Red Chamber can move on with questioning Ali over the controversial issue of collecting Customs duties on old vehicles.
Ndume added allegations that Melaye did not really graduate from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) in Zaria as claimed in his CV also has to be investigated to make sure the truth is revealed.
“Nigerians are angry and insulting the Senate over the scandals and, therefore, I urge my distinguished colleagues to investigate Saraki and Melaye’s messy allegations”, he said.
In the absence of Saraki who went to the Code of Conduct Tribunal for his corruption trial, the deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over plenary at the Red Chamber referred the matter to the committee on ethics and privileges chaired by Senator Samuel Anyanwu for investigation.
Ekweremadu said that the committee has four weeks to report back to the Senate.
The online media had been awash with reports on how a bulletproof Range Rover Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) owned by Senate President Saraki was allegedly imported with fake papers and seized by the Nigeria Customs Service.
It was alleged that some officers of the Nigerian Customs Service in Lagos had on January 11, 2017 intercepted and impounded a Range Rover car covered with documents indicating chassis number SALGV3TF3EA190243 and valued at N298 million, with expected customs duty of N74 million to have been paid on the car.
When the car was impounded, its driver allegedly said that the vehicle belonged to the senate president and presented a letter from the National Assembly liaison office in Lagos, indicating that the driver of the luxury vehicle was authorized to drive the senate president’s official Range Rover bulletproof car.
The driver allegedly presented documents that were found to be fake when asked to show evidence of duty payment and an end-user certificate from the office of the National Security Adviser that is usually required for bulletproof vehicles.
The Comptroller-General of the NCS, Col Hameed Ali (rtd), is currently at loggerheads with the Senate which is insisting that the retired colonel must wear Customs uniform before appearing before the lawmakers on Wednesday.
It was also reported that Senator Melaye allegedly did not graduate from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, contrary to the Senator’s claim. But Mr. Melaye denied the allegation, saying he was even currently studying for a postgraduate degree in the school.

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