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Kogi CJ orders remand of Melaye in national hospital

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Dino Melaye on a stretcher at the Magistrate’s Court, Abuja …yesterday. PHOTO: LUCY LADIDI ELUKPO


The Kogi High Court, sitting in Lokoja, the state capital, yesterday, varied a Senior Magistrate Court’s order and remanded Senator Dino Melaye at the National Hospital, Abuja, under the custody and supervision of the Police.

The state Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajanah, gave the interim order in his ruling on two separate motions filed by the prosecution and the defendant challenging the lower court ruling.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the two motions urged the High Court to vary the May 3 ruling by a Lokoja Senior Magistrate Court, which ordered the remand of the embattled senator in Police custody.

The prosecution, led by Theophilus Oteme, the officer in charge of the Legal Unit of the state Police Command, in his motion, sought that the lower court ruling be varied and the defendant be remanded in prison custody, as originally sought.The other motion filed by the defence, led by Mike Ozekhome (SAN), applied for the granting of bail to the senator and urged the court to order that he (Melaye) be remanded at the National Hospital, Abuja, in view his health challenges.

Arguing the motion, Ozekhome prayed the court to, in the interest of justice, abridge the time both motions would be taken because of the critical health condition of the defendant applicant, adding: “He was taken to the lower court yesterday on a stretcher and as we speak, he is still on the stretcher.”

Ozekhome said the life of the applicant was in danger, since the Police in the state had no medical facility to take care of him while in their custody.Justice Ajanah, in his ruling on the applications, said while both parties were on the same page in their calls for variation, their destinations on the issue of bail were different.

The CJ said he was inclined to grant the prayers of the two parties, in which they sought variation of the court order on the custody of the senator.He, however, conceded that it was only a fit person that could stand trial, saying: “In fact, that is why it is called ‘Standing Trial.’

“In the circumstance, therefore, I hereby vary the order of the remand of the third defendant (Melaye), as made by the lead counsel.“I hereby order that the third defendant be kept at the National Hospital, Abuja, under the custody and close watch and supervision of the complainant, the Inspector General of Police.

“The application for the bail in this case will be heard on Monday, May 7, 2018.”Melaye was on Thursday remanded in Police custody until June 11, by Mr. Sulyman Abdullah of the Lokoja Senior Magistrate Court.

The senator was arraigned along with Kabiru Seidu, aka Osama, and Nuhu Salihu, aka Small and charged with criminal conspiracy, illegal possession of firearms and illegal gun dealing, contrary to various sections of the appropriate laws.


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Dino Melaye
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