The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara has warned the heads of security agencies involved in the case of Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi), saying that nothing untowards must happen to the lawmaker.
He said if anything happened to the senator, heads of security agencies involved would be held responsible.
The Speaker, who was short of naming the security agency he was referring to on Thursrday at plenary said the health of persons should supercede their arraignment in court.
He said: “All I can say is that nothing can happen to the senator. If anyone in this country commits an offence, the law is there for the person to be prosecuted or arraigned in court within the ambit of the law.
“I don’t think the law supports a situation whereby someone is in a dire health situation and is being arraigned most especially that that person is a senator.
“It is unthinkable that a distinguished senator or an honorable member of this house would run away from trial.
“So, my admonition to the security agencies is to do everything possible to ensure that his life is secured first before prosecution.
“Prosecution cannot come at the expense of death and that is very important because if anything happened to him, the responsibility will lie on the security agencies.
“That is without mincing of words; because I have not seen a country where someone will be arraigned in a stretcher; where he is not even in the right frame of mind to even take a plea.
“What use is it if you’re taken someone to court and he cannot plead guilty or not guilty. So, the emphasis should be on his health first”.
Dogara’s warning followed a point of order by Sunday Karimi ( PDP, Kogi), who said Melaye was being transported in an ambulance to Lokoja to face trail despite the state of his health.
Karimi said Melaye’s predicament was as a result of his resolve to fight for his belief.
“I visited him in the hospital and counted up to 38 policemen. On Saturday, INEC went to conduct his recall.
“Only yesterday, he was arraigned in court in Abuja. Today, Dino was carried in an ambulance to Lokoja.
“What is happening to Dino can happen to anyone, what he is facing is persecution for his belief and there’s a need for us to act so that rule of law doesn’t suffer”.
However when attempts were made to throw the point of order into a debate, the Speaker declined saying due process was not followed.
The Speaker said he will not allow the order to be debated because the same issue was being handled by the Senate.
Besides, he was not previously conducted for it to be listed as a motion where it can be debated on the floor as required by the rule book.
“Karimi is talking about rule of law and due process, and we have our own rules in this house. So, we will abide by that.
“The issue is handled by the Senate, so we cannot commit it to debate.
“I don’t think there’s anything worth to comment on here, I think it is a matter of personal explanation and I’ve not been consulted,” he added.