The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) has disclosed that it has opened an investigation into an allegation that Senator Dino Melaye, who represents Kogi West constituency in the National Assembly, maintains a foreign bank account in violation of Nigerian law.
An anti-corruption organization, Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), had in a recent petition urged the CCB to investigate Mr. Melaye for a number of alleged crimes, including the operation of a foreign bank account.
In a response addressed to CSNAC and obtained by SaharaReporters, the Code of Conduct Bureau thanked the activist group for its “initiative to forward the aforementioned petition for investigations.”
The CCB’s letter, which was signed on behalf of the bureau’s chairman by Awwal Usman Yakasai, a director, also disclosed, “the Bureau is currently investigating the allegations and awaiting response on correspondences with relevant authorities that may provide further and possible evidence on the allegations and enable further necessary action on the matter.”
Mr. Melaye, who has a reputation as one of Nigeria’s most scandal-dogged senators, is also facing growing public condemnation after SaharaReporters released an audiotape in which he is heard discussing a monetary gift and other favors with Justice Akoh Ikpeme, a female judge who presided over an electoral petition against the senator. A transcript of the taped conversation revealed that the judge asked Senator Melaye to provide any funds to her in US dollars.
In response to the tape, CSNAC also urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate Mr. Melaye for his alleged bribe to Justice Ikpeme in 2015. The judge ultimately dismissed the electoral challenge to Mr. Melaye’s election.
In a petition signed by its chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, CSNAC urged the EFCC to constitute a team of forensic experts and investigators charged with investigating the audiotape and possibly prosecuting the senator and Justice Ikpeme.