Understanding Dino Melaye’s Skulduggery By Kingsley Ahanonu


In all phases of the unfolding Certificate scandal, Dino Melaye seems like a crook; and in every step he takes, this assumption is further amplified. The point being that, even as much as I would endeavor to avoid calling him so, his suggestions right from his initial statement of rebuff to his resort to court, just seem to make him a crook.

When SaharaReporters broke the airwaves, Monday, 20th March, and infected the already saturated domain of public discourse with the now trending issue of Dino’s unverified BSc certificate, it came to all as a shock, and very much to no other person than Dino himself.

Trust the vibrant and outspoken Senator, who passes to me as one of the most active, most influential senators of the eighth session of the National Assembly. Senator Dino, who has a chirpy background as an activist, deployed his acumen to do what he knows best, and which, at the moment, has seen to be very urgent and necessary. He vehemently refuted the claim, daring the news medium to dig more.

As if the statement of rebuff was not enough, and which it is not, Dino Melaye left the restrictiveness of the social media in offering the audibility and verbosity he has and so needs to assert. Dino boasted before his colleague senators and the press that he is a graduate and a proud bearer of up to seven degrees – and if they must know, that includes those of Harvard and London School!

The daring Dino, now provoked, didn’t stop there. He went further to boost his ‘prove’ by flaunting his NYSC days pictures. And the bomb… Apparently believing the delusion that he has proved points as to discard the allegation, he went farther to instituting a legal case against SaharaReporters, demanding even damages.

But to be fair to both sides, as the situation continues to unfold, it is clear that Dino has, as yet, done less to nothing to disprove what SaharaReporters has said. It’s unfortunate and rather too hastily a crooked smart move to try to silence the online medium through a rush to the law court, just as the man is doing.

SaharaReporters has a long time reputation of being an investigative news medium, one of the foremost in the Nigerian clime. And so it could be understood that SaharaReporters couldn’t just have gone public with such weighty matter without doing the necessary ground works. And so, with the status of SaharaReporters, Dino should think of a better, more credible, more reasonable options to debunk this attempt to discredit him. And it has seen to be that he’s yet to do the scratching.

Not to be seen as indicting the Distinguished Senator. No doubt, the man is vibrant, a firebrand lawmaker, who knows his onions; he speaks intelligently and is very articulate. It could be wrong, from looking at the kind of a person Dino is, to posit that he didn’t graduate from a school. He might have. But regardless, in the face of the allegation, he has nothing to do than to prove himself and get out of the mess SaharaReporters is endeavoring to smear him with; and that, for now, he has failed to do, in the least.

Senator Dino ought to have known that when dealing with an entity so intelligent, so investigative and so sleuthing like SR, he shouldn’t come up with defenses like the ones he’s been presenting; they are shadowy and infantile, lacking merit even at first view.

How could Dino have us believe that a mere NYSC photo could make any disavowal of such matter as a BSc certificate? How does he expect us to believe that the mention of Harvard, London, Cambridge and how he possesses 8, 9, 10 degrees, are indications of having a BSc degree?

Mr. Senator must realize that what is on the table is the issue of his possession or not of a valid BSc degree, which he claims to have got from ABU. It is the careful provision of this certificate and its attestation of validity from the said school that douse this tension and seal it. And, as of now, not any of these proves has been provided; and as such, the question still begs.

Admittedly, he might have, since his purported first degree, been running streams of Masters and Diploma programs (the fact is people could still deceive their postgraduate schools to gain admission). Nonetheless, the diplomas, masters, PhDs, etc. do not answer the first and only question of (ABU’s) first degree.

Therefore, the hasty run of Dino to the law court is but only to be seen as a crooked smart move to coarse the other party into submission. It does also to feed the suspecting mind of an understanding of what trick, of what emotive rousing and psychological twisting as employed by typical politicians, that Dino seeks to assert.

The hasty rush to the law court also brings the issue of whether our temples of justice have become an auditorium where anybody, clean or unclean, runs to for cover through restraining injunctions and declarations they dish out.

However, while the namby-pamby by Senator Dino lasts, we wait to see how he avails himself of this well-publicized opportunity to disprove his traducers, SaharaReporters by going really serious in his defense.

Ahanonu Kingsley writes from Owerri

Twitter: @kings_em

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