Dino Melaye, the Kogi senator who styles himself as an activist but is more notorious for his ostentatious living, vulgarity, abuse of women and generally ill-thought contributions to national discuss, won a big victory at the court on Wednesday.
A federal high court in Abuja presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole awarded him the sum of N10 million in damages over a lawsuit he filed against the Inspector General of Police in 2014.
Melaye sued the police for stopping him from protesting against former Aviation minister, Stella Oduah, at the height of the bulletproof BMW controversy. The police manhandled and detained him briefly in the course of the protest, as a result of which he went to court.
At that time Melaye was not a senator and the protest was a good way to burnish his profile preparatory to a 2015 senate contest in which he defeated the incumbent, Adeyemi Smart of the PDP.
The police argued in court that Melaye and the other protesters did not obtain a permit before embarking on the protest.
Justice Kolawole however disagreed. He said Melaye’s rights were violated. He therefore awarded the sum of N10 million as damages.
Ordinarily, the loquacious senator would have said something about his victory which is a big one for the rights of citizens to protest in their country. He would have bragged and boasted and strutted his chest like a colossus. The verdict – after all – sends a message to the police that clamping down on peaceful protest with such high-handedness is unlawful.
However Melaye is mute – he cannot say a word about this. In fact, he definitely wishes the news is buried somewhere far away from interested eyes.
Answer: In 2014, Melaye was protesting against Oduah. But now, Melaaye and Oduah are strong allies in the senate, with both belonging to the core group of senators backing the senate president Bukola Saraki. His old foe is now a strong ally, the both of them in the national assembly, safe in the knowledge that they belong to one of the most secretive, ineffectual legislative bodies in the world.
Just so you know.