Kogi West senator, Dino Melaye has accused Governor Yahaya Bello of importing military gadgets into the country. In a point of order raised at the floor of the Senate on Thursday, Mr Melaye said the items were intercepted by the Nigeria Customs at the Abuja Airport.
Mr Melaye prayed the ad-hoc committee constituted by the Senate to investigate the ‘disruption’ of the poverty alleviation programme initiated by the Kogi Central senator, Emmanuel Ogembe.
The Senate at the opening of the plenary had inaugurated a seven-man committee, chaired by James Manager, to investigate the issue which was extensively debated at Tuesday’s plenary.
Other members of the committee are; Jeremiah Useni, Isa Misau, Kabir Marafa, Solomon Olamila, Matthew Uroghide and Chukwuka Utazi.
“Mr President, due to my private investigation I got a very serious revelation yesterday and I am so happy that a committee constituted by the senate under the leadership of the ranking senator James Manager,” Mr. Melaye said.
“Mr President few minutes ago, the Nigerian Customs intercepted sewn military camouflages with boller hats, many bullet proof vests, night vision googles, tactical boots, tactical knapsacks, training canvas, boxing gloves etc.
“These items were intercepted by the Nigerian customs because they did not come with end user certificates. When you are bringing military equipment into the country they must come with end user certificate certified by the national security adviser.”
Dino Melaye said an aide attached to the Governor made several futile attempts to clear the items at the Customs.
“Upon seizure of these items, one Jerry Omadara, who is the S.A security to the governor of Kogi state went to the customs officers and told them that the items belonged to the Kogi state government and even gave them his complimentary card.
“Jerry Omadara presented himself physically before customs. The name of the company that imported these items is SEC Communications Nigeria Limited and a search in the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has revealed the owners of the company connected to Kogi state government. These items, as I speak, detention notice is on them.
“Up to the morning, these items are with NAHCO at the airport here in Abuja. Mr President I thereby move that the vibrant committee constituted this morning under the chairmanship of James Manager move to the airport to make sure that these items are there and not moved and properly investigated. I said before that militias were being equipped by the Kogi state government.
“I believe the committee will unravel the mystery behind this seizure. A situation were a governor is already importing military uniforms and other gadgets when he is not a contractor in the ministry of defence. It is dangerous trend and the senate was right when it said Yahaya Bello is a threat to democracy.”
The Senate resolved to include the allegation as part of issues the ad-hoc committee will investigate.
Attempts to contact Mr Bello for comments Thursday were unsuccessful. His spokesperson, Petra Akinti-Onyegbule, could not be reached on phone.