Court issues bench warrant against second accused in Melaye’s assassination attempt
A kogi State high Court sitting in Lokoja has issued a bench warrant against the second accused in Senator Dino Melaye’s alleged assassination case, Ade Obege.Obege failed to appear in court at the resume hearing of the case yesterday, resulting in the trial being stalled.
The presiding Judge, Justice Fola Ajayi, however, ordered that a bench warrant be issued against Obege, while summons should also be issued on the people that stood sureties for him.
The case could also not progress because of the non-appearance of the prosecutor, Lough Simon, in court.Samuel Ikutanwa, who held brief for Simon, told the court that the prosecutor could not attend the sitting, having lost his father, a development he said had already been communicated to the parties to the suit, adding that he was not with the details of the proceedings on the matter.
However, when the case came up for mention and the accused persons were asked to enter the dock, it was discovered that the second accused person was absent. His counsel, A. O. Jonathan, told the court that Obege was last seen on March 22, this year, which was the last day the case came up for hearing, adding that his wife said she had not seen her husband since he left Okene for Lokoja on March 22, saying he wanted to conclude that Obege was missing.
Reacting to the development, Ikutanwa prayed the court for a bench warrant against the second accused person, since there was no cogent reason for his absence from court.The presiding Judge, in his ruling, noted that the suit could not come up because of the two reasons.
He adjourned the case to May 14 and 15, this year, for hearing. The administrator of Ijumu Council, Alhaji Taofiq Isa, and four others are facing trial over their alleged involvement in the attempt to assassinate Melaye in April last year.Unknown gunmen had invaded the lawmaker’s residence in Ayetoro-Gbede, Ijumu Council and fired several shots into the compound, following which properties were destroyed, but no life was lost in the attack. The Nigeria Police later instituted a case against Isa and others, slamming a five-count charge that included conspiracy to murder against them.