According to PM News Nigerian activist, Dino Melaye has been arrested by the Nigerian police in Abuja as he led a demonstration, calling for the resignation of the BMW car scandal-minister, Princess Stella Oduah of the aviation ministry.Melaye, a former member of the House of Representatives is also the executive director, anti-corruption network, based in Abuja.
Oduah is mired in a scandal of buying two armored BMW cars at an outrageous price of N255m. The National Assembly has charged two committees to probe the scandal.
Melaye, who led a group of protesters to the Federal Secretariat around noon on Tuesday was arrested by a group of policeman headed by an Assistant Commissioner of Police in the FCT, Sunday Olukoya.
Before his arrest, Melaye and his group had protested at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja with members of his group carrying different placards in which they condemned the Minister for allegedly asking the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to buy her the two bullet-proof BMW cars.
However, another group also protested in support of the Minister.But while the pro-Oduah protesters were allowed to leave, Police stopped the vehicle conveying Melaye and his supporters and immediately put them under arrest.
The former member of House of Representatives however protested the arrest arguing that similar protests were organized when the police pension fund petrol subsidy fund were stolen.
Melaye said his group organized the protest against the Minister because the funds used to buy the armoured cars was not in the budget and not appropriated.
“The protest affects everybody; the police are also affected because they are taxpayers. I’m also a taxpayer.”
The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, said Melaye’s arrest was highly reprehensible.
CACOL Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran, described the action of the police as “leaving the message to fight the messenger”.
“Why should they leave the message to fight the messenger? It is like throwing the baby away with the bath water,” said Adeniran, who added: “When has it become an offence for any Nigerian to protest against what he feels is not right? That is a violation of the gentleman’s fundamental rights, which this set of our leaders swore an oath to protect.”
Adeniran said it is unfortunate that people who rode on the back of the rule of law to get to power could turn around to deny Nigerian masses basic rights.
The anti-corruption crusader however urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to probe into the activities of the Aviation Minister for abuse of office; and also urged the agency to probe the activities of the all aviation agencies under Oduah.