PREMIUM TIMES has obtained further details of the altercation between Senators Dino Melaye (APC-Kogi) and Remi Tinubu (APC-Lagos) which saw both lawmakers calling each other names and charging at each other.
Those who witnessed the incident, which occurred during a closed-door meeting held by senators on Tuesday, said trouble started when Mr. Melaye urged the Senate to descend heavily on members who had offered to serve as prosecution witnesses in the ongoing forgery case against Senate President Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu.
The Kogi senator is said to have accused the senators of being used by the presidency to destabilise the Senate and warned them to be ready to face the consequences of their action.
“You should go and tell those who sent you that nobody, I said nobody, no matter who he is, can ever control this Senate, ” Mr. Melaye was quoted as saying as he pointed at the affected senators, his face contorted in rage.
Our sources said when Mrs. Tinubu was recognised to speak, she rose, and said, “I’m just wondering why whenever Senator Dino speaks in this chamber, he is always threatening people and behaving childishly and at times like a thug.
“I think he needs to know that every senator here represents their constituencies. And that there is no need to threaten anyone.
“We are seeking and working towards reconciliation, yet you are busy issuing threats.”
One of our sources said at this point, Mr. Melaye jumped up from his seat and charged towards Mrs. Tinubu, saying, “Look this is not Bourdillon (referring to the famous Lagos residence of Mrs Tinubu’s politician husband). I will beat you up, ….. impregnate you and nothing will happen.”
Witnesses said as Mr. Melaye charged towards the Lagos senator, other senators, especially those from the South-West geopolitical zone, waded in and shielded Mrs. Tinubu from attack, and then calmed her down.
A few other senators also prevailed on Mr. Melaye to take it easy and let peace reign, sources said.
“We had to move in to save the situation because he had already overwhelmed her with his voice,” one of the senators, who calmed Mrs. Tinubu down, said.
“Many dirty thing do happen during closed-door sessions, but people don’t get to hear about it,” another senator said. “But now that the senate is divided, proceedings at executive sessions are being leaked to the press.
“Yesterday was one of such dirty sessions, there was ramblings, uproar and profanities. It was so sad.”
Also during the meeting, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe (PDP-Abia) called on the Senate to go for President Muhammadu Buhari’s “jugular”.
When colleagues asked him what he meant, the senator said it had become clear that Mr. Buhari had no respect for the Senate and that the time had come for him to be impeached.
Mr. Abaribe said the president was encouraging his subordinates to disrespect the upper chamber and that only two options were now open to the senate – go for the president’s jugular (impeachment) or continue to seek reconciliation that might not work.
Mr. Melaye on Wednesday morning said reports that he was planning to initiate impeachment proceeding against President Buhari were untrue. But he was silent on reports that he threatened Senator Tinubu or used the “F” word on her.
The Kogi senator could not be reached to comment for this story. Calls to his known telephone number failed to connect.
Mrs. Tinubu too did not answer or return multiple calls made to her by PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday morning.