Melaye Police chained Senator to hospital bed like common criminal, claims lawyer

The lawmaker's lawyer also claims he was teargassed while he was being transported in a vehicle.

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Police chained Melaye to hospital bed like common criminal, claims lawyer play

Dino Melaye in handcuffs at the National Hospital Abuja

(Punch)
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Mike Ozekhome (SAN), counsel to Kogi lawmaker, Senator Dino Melaye, has revealed how police officers chained his client to his hospital bed after an alleged escape attempt from custody last month.

With help from hoodlums, Melaye had allegedly briefly escaped from police officers while he was being transported from Abuja to Kogi on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

Hours later, the Senator resurfaced at the Zankli Medical Center, Abuja, in an ambulance before he was rearrested and moved to the National Hospital.

He was later arraigned on Wednesday, May 2, before an Abuja Magistrate Court sitting at Wuse Zone 2 charged with criminal conspiracy, causing damage to government property, attempted suicide and escape from lawful custody.

He was then driven to Lokoja on Thursday, May 3, where he was arraigned before the Senior Magistrate Court 2 charged with criminal conspiracy, unlawful possession of prohibited firearms, kidnapping, armed robbery, murder, political thuggery and other violent crimes in the state.

Even though the court remanded him in police custody despite appearing on a stretcher with an apparent spinal cord injury sustained during the alleged escape, Ozekhome filed two applications before the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Nadir Ajanah.

The first application sought the court to order that the lawmaker be moved to the National Hospital in Abuja where his medical demands can be met while the other asked that the court review the decision of the Magistrates court to remand him in custody, arguing that he's not a flight risk.

During a hearing at the Kogi High Court on Friday, May 4, Justice Ajanah granted the application to have Melaye moved to Abuja for treatment but he adjourned the hearing for the bail application till Monday, May 7.

During the hearing on Monday, Ozekhome complained about the maltreatment of the lawmaker in the custody of police officers. He told the court that Melaye had to escape from the police vehicle because he feared for his life and had been deceived about the destination of the car journey.

He also noted that the lawmaker was not trying to escape as claimed by the police but was simply acting on instincts to avoid being killed after he was tear-gassed.

He said, "The truth of the matter is that initially, the police told Melaye that they would take him to a high court in Abuja for prosecution but the police suddenly decided to head to Lokoja and Melaye said while they were in the vehicle, the police tear-gassed him twice.

"Melaye protested against why they were taking him to Lokoja instead of Abuja. So, as soon as the vehicle carrying Melaye came to a standstill at Area One intersection roundabout, Melaye forced the door of the vehicle open and jumped down because he was gasping for breath and he did not want to suffocate and die.

"Again, when Melaye jumped from the bus and started shouting, the people around that area and his lawyers sympathised with him and took him to a medical centre in Abuja where the police again came and bundled him to the National Hospital in Abuja, where they chained him to his bed like a common criminal.

"The question is if someone has the plan to jump bail, he will not allow himself to be in the hospital, he will run to his village or can even run out of the country."

Justice Ajanah adjourned the hearing on the bail application till Thursday, May 10, due to the the failure of the prosecuting and defense legal teams to file their affidavits.

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