Rights group urges EFCC to probe Senator Melaye’s bribery tape scandal

A rights group, Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to urgently probe Senator Dino Melaye’s alleged involvement in briberyAn online news portal, had on Tuesday released an audio clip where a judge, handling an election petition between Melaye and Senator Smart Adeyemi of the Peoples Democratic Party, was said to have asked for a bribe in dollars from Melaye.

Following this event, CSNAC in a petition to the anti-graft agency, said the lawmaker representing Kogi -West senatorial district and the judge, Justice Akoh Ikpeme, should be investigated for their purported role in the audio tape.

The petition by the group was signed by its chairman , Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju.

“In the recordings which capture the telephone conversation between Justice (Mrs .) Akoh and Mr. Melaye , at two different times, the judge is overheard asking Mr. Melaye to give her a bribe in US

“She also sought Mr. Melaye’s assistance for a person he repeatedly referred to as her ‘daughter’ to secure a job at the Cross River State Ministry of Health, with the senator reassuringly bragging that
he had already spoken to Governor Ben Ayade.

“It is worth noting that sometime in 2016, Justice Ikpeme dismissed a petition by Smart Adeyemi, Mr. Melaye’s opponent at the 2015 Kogi- West senatorial district election — in accordance with the plot of reaffirming the alleged electoral infractions associated with the emergence of Mr. Melaye.”

The coalition stated that in view of the gravity of the allegations, the EFCC must urgently commence a high – powered investigation by a team of forensic experts into the allegations.

The CSNAC said “the fight against corruption would remain deficient in the face of unbridled electoral fraud and manipulation if nothing was done,” part of the petition read.

Meanwhile, Senator Melaye has refuted bribing the judge and claimed that the voice recording was fake.

According to the senator, the online news portal that made the report was “using voice- over to malign me because my case with them comes up in few days’ time, June 5 , 2017”, he stated.