A statement yet to be confirmed which is however circulating the social media and claimed to be from the Dean of Students, Ahmadu Bello University, ABU Zaria, Bar. Ahmed Tanimu has surfaced wherein the varsity don is alleged to have confirmed that Senator Dino Melaye is a “bonifide graduate of ABU Zaria who has his genuine transcript and certificate.”
In the alleged confirmation claimed to be from the varsity’s Dean, Bar. Tanimu, the don is said to have stated that although Senator Dino had not wanted to graduate from the school, the institution, however, graduated him and his likes so that “peace may reign.”
Whatever is meant by the statement “so that peace may reign” could not be ascertained.
Melaye is a Senator representing Kogi West in the Senate on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
Recall that Melaye has been embroiled in certificate scandal since Sahara Reporters, an online media platform, published report that the lawmaker never graduated from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he attended his first degree course.
The development court the Senate attention Tuesday, leading to its decision to refer the matter to its Ethics and Privileges Committee for investigation ,when Senator Ali Ndume, APC, Borno South, brought up the issue during plenary.
The committee was directed to investigate the claim that he does not possess an authentic first degree certificate from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
During the day’s plenary presided by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, the upper legislative chamber decided to conduct the investigations, following a point of order raised by ousted Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, who noted that both issues, raised by the online medium, borders on the privileges of the senators.
However, according to the confirmation making the rounds on social media, “Dino is a graduate of ABU Zaria. I do not like him but the campaign of calumny and falsehood against him must stop. I recalled a meeting with the then VC, chief security officer Mallam Ashiru.”
“At the meeting it was resolved that all politically exposed students and unionist must be graduated for peace to reign in ABU.
“The VC started by asking me, the then SECGEN ABUSUG, when am I supposed to graduate? I told him I was only in 4 hundred level law then, he then asked after so many other commrades like Anslem, Chris, Ochums, Arokoyo, Ribadu, Renshaw, Kamal, Ntom, SB, Bright, Ganzi, Kombitel, Realman, Kurfi, Kabir Mustspha, Tijani Kabir(refused to graduate and 8 years later became NANS president), Precious Abdul, MB Mustspha, Dino etc……he gave a marching order that the Dean student affairs must ensure that our types are promptly graduated and leave the school in peace and in good time. Refering to all the so called elders and Unionist of ABU then.”
The case of Elder Dino as he then was, was even the worst. In truism, Dino never wanted to graduate from ABU. He was benefiting handsomely and almost feeding from Unionism like many Unionist, he deliberately keep having carry-overs so as to remain in ABU against the orders of the VC.
Trust the smart VC Mahdi, he ensured that Dino swiftly passed all his carry-overs. When Dino resisted that move by the VC, he was told by the Dean that the University has the power to pass and graduate any of it’s students if they are satisfied that such a student has attained sufficient learning or good character standing(whether he actually pass all his papers or not).”
“In Dino’s case, the emphasis was placed on his good character and not necessarily the waived passing.”
“I repeat, Dino is a bonifide graduate of ABU Zaria, Department of Geography and Faculty of Social Science. He has his genuine transcript and certificate. He might have been exempted from NYSC as he was an adult even when in school.”
Recall also that Senator Melaye, while determined to prove that he was awarded a Bachelors Degree by the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, has on Thursday, pledged to tender his certificate before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting at Maitama, Abuja in a N5 billion libel suit he brought against SaharaReporters.
In the suit he filed through his lawyer, Mr. Mark Ikongbeh, Senator Melaye, insisted that he indeed bagged a B. Sc in Geography from the University. He told the court that the certificate scandal has exposed him to great psychological stress and emotional trauma, saying he has been abandoned by his friends and associates owing to the defamatory publication by the defendants.
Cited as 1st to 4th defendants in the suit marked M/4812/17, were, the Incorporated Trustees of Sahara Reporters Media Foundation, Omoyele Sowore, Temitope Olumuyide and Sahara Reporters Media Group Inc. Aside praying the court to award him N5billion as aggravate and exemplary damages for libel, the plaintiff also applied for an injunction restraining the defendants, by themselves or by their servants or agents, from making further publications on the issue.
He is equally seeking N10million as cost of the legal action. In the statement of claim, the plaintiff told the court that a great number of his constituents, friends, associates, foreign acquaintances have felt so betrayed and let down by conducts maliciously and falsely alleged against him by the defendants, to an extent that they have ostracised him and have currently given him a wide berth.
He said: “Many invitations to honourable events have been withdrawn and attempts to reach out to several people who had very cordial relations with the plaintiff has been met with a cold shoulder. “The plaintiff has suffered great psychological stress and emotional trauma by reason of the defamatory publications arising from the loss of company he has suffered from friends and associates.
“This precarious psychology state has been exacerbated by the number of people whom the plaintiff has had to reach out to or who have reached out to him for explanation and reassurance of the truth in the situation. “The plaintiff has greatly been weighed down emotionally by the sudden loss of huge public goodwill which he enjoyed prior to the publication of the defamatory publication.
“Further, the defendants published the defamatory words out of malevolence and spite towards the plaintiff and with a view to cower the plaintiff into soft pedalling on his stance in several issues ongoing in the Senate chambers”.
In a 15-paragraphed affidavit that was personally deposed by the plaintiff, he averred: “That I am a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria representing Kogi West Senatorial District of Kogi State and I was once the honourable member of the House of Representatives representing the Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency.
Amongst other duties; I currently serve as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the FCT. “The 1st defendant is an organisation setup under Part C of the companies and Allied Matters Act as a non-profit organisation ostensibly dedicated to promoting a brand of investigative journalism pioneered by the 4th defendant. The 1st defendant is the Nigerian arm of the 4th defendant.
The 1st defendant by its official filings at the Corporate Affairs Commission is based in Lagos. “The 2nd and 3rd defendants are the Trustees of the 1st defendant and also the promoters of the 4th defendant. They are self-styled investigative journalists who are not visibly known to be accredited by or affiliated to any registered media outfit. “They operate under the popular ‘Sahara Reporters’ brand.
The 2nd and 3rd defendants operate all over Nigeria but have listed addresses located in Lagos in their corporate filings. “The 4th defendant is a business Corporation organised under the laws of New York State in the United States of America and is the proprietor of a website and other online channels through which it disseminates news items predominantly about governance issues in Nigeria.
“The 2nd defendant is listed as the Chief Executive Officer of the 4th defendant. That the 4th defendant is based in New York, United States of America but is represented in the country by the 2nd defendant who is also its alter ego and service of court process on the 2nd defendant will definitely bring the suit to the 4th defendant’s attention.
“On the 19th and 20th March 2017, the defendants falsely and maliciously wrote, posted, and published or caused to be written on their verified Twitter handle identified as @SaharaReporters hosted online at the web address of and concerning me by directly mentioning and linking it to my Twitter handle identified as @dino_melaye hosted online at the web address ; the following words:
“FLASH: University teachers at the Geography Department of Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria insists that @dino_melaye did not graduate, bribed his HOD/1 (posted at 4:09 PM- 19th March 2017. “FLASH: University teachers at the Geography Dept of ABU, Zaria insists that @dino_melaye never graduated, DG DSS informed but covered it up. (posted at 4:11 PM- 19th March 2017.
“FLASH: At least 3 Exam Officers at ABU, Zaria insists that @dino_melaye never graduated from Geography Dept, DG DSS alerted but covered it up (posted at 4:14PM – 19th March 2017).
“FLASH: Exam Officers at ABU, Zaria insists that @dino_melaye never graduated from Geography Dept, they said Dino’s name was not on graduation list (posted at 4:16 PM -19th March 2017)”.
He said the online media outfit equally posted that his HOD, Prof. David Okoro Ogbonna, assisted him to forge his transcript and that he applied for a Post Graduate program at UNIJOS, went to ABU for transcript and none could be provided.