Lokoja: Senator Dino Melaye wheeled to police custody, to spend 38 days
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A magistrate court (two) sitting in Lokoja, Kogi state capital, has remanded federal lawmaker, representing Kogi West senatorial district, Senator Dino Melaye, till June 11 this year.
Melaye and two other accused persons who were arraigned with him before the court by the Nigerian police on Thursday, May 3, 2018, were charged with criminal conspiracy and illegal dealings of firearms.
The police had recently accused the senator of arming criminals terrorizing Kogi state, after some suspected criminals allegedly confessed he was their godfather.
Prosecution counsel, Alex Izinyon, said since the punishment for the offences the accused are standing for are more than three years, the court should remand the accused in custody pending when the trial would continue.
He argued that the counsel failed to provide written application for his client’s bail, and that his oral application for the senator’s bail should be turned down by the court.
Trial judge, Suleiman Abdullah, in his ruling however said sen. Melaye alongside other accused persons namely Kabiru Seidu aka Osama and Nuhu Mohammed aka Small be reminded in police custody until the 11th of June for continuation of hearing.
He said the issue of bail is within the discretionary powers of the court, but declined to exercise it in favour of the accused.
The ruling caused confusion in the court, as the judge walked out after he issued his ruling.
Scores of fierce-looking and gun-totting policemen manned the court environs, and prevented civil servants whose offices were within the court to move in, including other civilians.
Tens of police vans blocked entrances within the area to ensure the trial which began around 10am is hitch-free.
Oak TV findings showed that efforts by the lead defence counsel, Mike Ozekhome, to save his clients failed, as his hours of struggle within the court after the judgment was given yielded no result.
Melaye was finally moved into police ambulance around 2pm.
Ozekhome however told newsmen that all legal means would be employed to secure bail for the accused.
Melaye and other accused charged with criminal conspiracy and illegal dealings of firearms.
Shockingly, against expectation of many pundits, the court environs and entire Lokoja metropolis were calm on Thursday.
Melaye’s trial came less than 24 hours after the police moved him out of National Hospital, Abuja, where he was receiving treatment.
It was also the second day in succession that he would be arraigned. He was arraigned on Wednesday in Abuja for threatening to kill himself and implicate the police. He was also charged at same Abuja court for smashing the windscreen of police van in which he was being ferried to Lokoja.
The senator had jumped off a police van in Abuja when he was being taken to Lokoja on Tuesday, 24th April 2018.
He was immediately rushed to a private hospital in the nation’s capital where he was later re-arrested by the police and taken to National Hospital for treatment.
Scores of police officers were soon moved to the hospital to keep vigil on him, while sources within the hospital claimed he was on handcuff.
Melaye who has running battle with his state governor, Yahaya Bello, survived a recall process reportedly initiated against him by the governor last week.
He has been very critical of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. Both the lawmaker and the president won their elections on the
platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC)
Majority of residents who spoke with Oak TV crew in Lokoja said the state governor and Melaye have scores to settle with each other, and that the masses have nothing to do with the feud, hence the disinterestedness of the people in the trial.
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