A Lokoja Chief Magistrate Magistrate Court, Kogi state on Thursday remanded the senator representing Kogi west senatorial district, Dino Melaye, in police custody till June 11.
Apart from the senator, the presiding Magistrate, Sulyman Abdullah, also remanded the two suspects that implicated him in the case of illegal possession of firearms, Kabiru Seidu, aka Osama and Nuhu Salisu, aka small.
The lawmaker, who was brought to the court on a stretcher was charged along with the two other suspects before Abdullahi of court III, magistrate court, Lokoja.
The seven-count charge includes illegal possession of a firearm, criminal conspiracy and illegal transfer of firearms, among others.
After reading the charge to the accused persons, the prosecution counsel, Alex Izinyon SAN, told the court not grant Melaye and others bail, saying the allegations levelled against them were too weighty and not ordinarily bailable.
He, therefore, prayed the court to remand Melaye in the prison custody, while the other two accused persons are remanded in the police custody
However, counsel to the senator, Mike Ezekhome SAN, objected Izinyon’s prayer and moved for Melaye’s bail.
According to him, Section 97(2) of the penal code and Section 56 of the Kogi state administration of criminal justice law provide that the offences were bailable ones
He also presented two medical reports from the National Hospital, Abuja, which certified that Melaye was bedridden owing to a spinal chord injury he sustained, adding that the lawmaker would not jump bail as a vocal senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Ezekhome, who told the court that Melaye “should be for prosecution and not persecution”, also pleaded with the trial judge to consider the bail application saying his client has been with the police since April 24 and was released on bail on Wednesday by an Abuja magistrate court only to be rearrested by the police.
But Izinyon objected the bail application arguing that Melaye had earlier escaped from a lawful police custody and that for the council to say he was a vocal senator means “he is influential and can move and unmoved anything”
A little drama ensued in the middle of the hearing as Melaye suddenly woke up from the stretcher and looked around the court, prompting the doctor that led the medical team to the court rushed to him and supplied him an inhaler.
The senator is said to be asthmatic and had been receiving treatment for the ailment.
Delivering his ruling, Abdullah said, “the grant of this application is not granted as a matter of course. They are anchored upon certain well time honoured principles of the law that would guarantee the production and appearance of the defendant to a court of competent jurisdiction.
“The court, however, has a grave responsibility to exercise such direction with utmost caution and to act within the accepted principles of administration of justice. Every case has its peculiar facts and circumstance.
“Having gone through all the submissions of counsels in respect of the oral application, I declined to exercise my discretion in favour of the 4th defendant, the oral application is accordingly refused”.
He, however, ordered that the accused persons be remanded at the police headquarters, Lokoja, adding that the Inspector General of Police should allow Melaye the medical requirements he required.
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