Dino Melaye denies booing Buhari during budget presentation

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Embattled Nigerian lawmaker senator Dino Melaye has denied social media reports that he was among National Assembly members that booed President Muhammadu Buhari during 2019 budget presentation.

Some lawmakers had booed Buhari while presenting the 2019 national budget on Wednesday, December 19, 2018.

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But Melaye, a senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District said claims alleging his involvement in booing Buhari during the budget presentation were untrue.

“The attention of Senator Dino Melaye has been drawn to a malicious reference to his person on the social media as one of the lawmakers who booed President Muhammadu Buhari during his 2019 Budget presentation before a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday, December 19, 2018.”

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“Before now, he (Melaye) had refused to refute the mischievous social media fabrication for what it is — a cheap lie — Senator Dino Melaye was not in the National Assembly that day,” Melaye’s media aide Gideon Ayodele said in a statement.

The senator, who still recuperating in a police hospital in Abuja, said he could not have been part of his colleagues’ action because he was absent in the event.

Melaye said his rebuttal was not born out of fear but a clarification of facts. He challenged anyone with a proof that he booed Buhari to provide evidence.

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He said, “For the avoidance of doubt, Distinguished Senator Dino Melaye was absent at the televised 2019 budget presentation session and hereby challenges anyone with contrary proof to come forward with such.”

Melaye is standing trial in more than one suit. He has been accused of illegal possession of arms, gun running and sponsoring hoodlums in Kogi State.

In a sperate trial, he was accused of a six-count charge, bordering on attempted suicide, attempt to escape from custody and damage of police property.

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Police spokesman Jimoh Moshood said persons suspected to be working for the senator shot and wounded the police officer, who is still recovering.

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The police invited Melaye for questioning, but refuse to honour the invite. The police then laid an eight-day siege to his Abuja residence until his submission to arrest.

He collapsed afterwards and was rushed to a police hospital for urgent medical attention.

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