A heated argument ensued between Senator Dino Melaye, and Festus Keyamo (SAN), over President Muhammadu Buhari’s threat to ballot box snatchers.
Keyamo, who is the director, Strategic Communications of All Progressives Congress, APC, Campaign Council backed Buhari’s directive, saying that it is aimed at addressing electoral fraud.
He said: “I think I have listened to so many uninformed comments.
“What the president said is 100 percent correct, defensible and I will urge him to repeat it over and over again.
“The President said that whoever leads a band of thugs to go and snatch ballot boxes will pay dearly for it with his life. That is a correct statement of the law.
“Ballot box snatching is robbery. Ballot box snatching is armed robbery. Ballot box snatching is thwarting the will of the people
“Ballot box snatching is changing a government by force, It’s treason. All are punishable by death.
“Dino, you should spend more time in your Law Classes than (clowning) in hospitals.”
However, reacting, Melaye, who is representing Kogi West senatorial district, countered Keyamo, saying that he was saying it was okay to “cure illegality with illegality”.
He said: “I am utterly disappointed in my president. I am completely in shock that in a democratic setting, a president will speak with the anointing if Idi Amin of Uganda, the president will use the word “ruthless”, the president will order killings of Nigerians without going through Legal procedures. That is totally unacceptable.
“I expected that by now the President should have apologised to Nigerians and withdraw that statement but instead there has been a lot of efforts, boxing the wind by Chieftains of the APC, trying to defend what is not defendable.”
Buhari, at a meeting of APC leaders in Abuja on Monday, warned that anyone planning to snatch ballot boxes or rig the forthcoming elections will do so at the expense of his own life.
This has since generated mixed feelings with many Nigerians saying the president was inciting electoral violence.