Published On: Thu, May 3rd, 2018

Court Denies Melaye Bail…A Serving Senator Deserves Bail, Says Dogara

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By Sadiq Umar – A magistrate court in Lokoja, Kogi state capital, Thursday, turn down the bail application for the embattled Kogi senator, Dino Melaye, instead ruled that he be kept in police custody till June 11.

Mr. Melaye was arraigned on stretcher and charged with conspiracy and possession of firearms before Magistrate, Suleiman Abdulahi.

Counsel to Mr. Melaye, Mike Ozekhome, quoting section 97 of the Kogi state administration of criminal justice,  had argued that the offence of conspiracy is bailable, but was reject by the court,  ruling that Mr.Melaye would remain in custody till June 11.

The police had declared Mr. Melaye wanted after he shunned their invitation over a gun running allegation, expressing fear that his life in not secured in the state.

Two suspects had allegedly named the senator of supplying guns to them, an allegation he denied.

Two weeks ago, officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service detained him at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport and prevented him from going on a trip to Morocco.

Mr. Melaye returned home after that but the police laid a siege to his Abuja residence some moments later.

He surrendered to the police after 24 hours and he was being taken to Lokoja for trial when he jumped out of a police vehicle, sustaining injuries in the process.

He was taken to a private hospital but the police moved him to National Hospital. After a week there, he was arraigned at a magistrate court in Abuja and charged with attempted suicide, escape from lawful custody, and causing damage to government property.

Mr. Melaye was granted a bail of N90 million after which he was re-arrested and brought  in an ambulance to Lokoja on Thursday.

Before the police took him to court, the senator was taken to the SARS headquarters near the NTA office in Lokoja.

Around 9;17am, Mr. Melaye arrived the court in a Toyota Hiace police ambulance bus with registration number NPF2214D.

Meanwhile, Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara has urged the police authority to ensure the safety of Mr. Melaye, noting that the Senator representing Kogi West deserves a bail giving his state of health.

Mr. Dogara said Melaye, a Serving Senator ought to be granted bail, at least based on his status which he noted makes it difficult for him to jump bail.

The Speaker spoke during Thursday plenary when making remarks on a debate concerning the plight of the embattled Senator

The Speaker’s warning followed a point of order by Rep. Sunday Karimi (PDP, Kogi), who said Melaye was transported in an ambulance to Lokoja to face trial despite the state of his health”

Mr. Dogarq said the legislative arm of government is keenly monitoring situation with the Senator and his plight, stressing to the Police authorities that nothing should happen to him while still in custody.

The Speaker in a statement said, “All I can say is that nothing can happen to the senator. If anyone in this country commits an offence, the law is there for the person to be prosecuted or arraigned in court within the ambit of the law.

“I don’t think the law supports a situation whereby someone is in a dire health situation and is being arraigned most especially that that person is a senator.

“It is unthinkable that a distinguished senator or an honorable member of this house would run away from trial.

“So, my admonition to the security agencies is to do everything possible to ensure that his life is secured first before prosecution.

“Prosecution cannot come at the expense of death and that is very important because if anything happened to him, the responsibility will lie on the security agencies.

“That is without mincing of words; because I have not seen a country where someone will be arraigned in a stretcher; where he is not even in the right frame of mind to even take a plea.

“What use is it if you’re taken someone to court and he cannot plead guilty or not guilty. So, the emphasis should be on his health first.

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