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Melaye Senator remains in police custody as court adjourns bail hearing

The lawmaker's bail hearing has been postponed for a second time in Kogi.

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Melaye remains in police custody as court adjourns bail hearing play

Senator Dino Melaye wheeled into an Abuja Magistrate Court on a stretcher

(SaharaReporters)

Kogi lawmaker, Senator Dino Melaye, will remain in police custody while he recovers from a spinal cord injury after the Kogi State High Court adjourned the hearing on the bail application his legal team filed.

After the Senior Magistrate Court 2 in Lokoja ruled on Thursday, May 4, that the Kogi West representative should be remanded in custody till June 11, his counsel Mike Ozekhome (SAN), 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.

Even though Justice Ajanah granted the application to have Melaye moved to Abuja for treatment during the first hearing on Friday, May 5, he adjourned the hearing for the bail application till Monday, May 7.

However, during the resumption of the hearing, the judge had to adjourn the bail hearing again due to the failure of the prosecuting and defense legal teams to file their affidavits on the bail application.

Justice Ajanah adjourned the hearing till Thursday, May 10.

Melaye facing three criminal cases in three courts

After Kabiru Saidu, a.k.a Osama, and Nuhu Salisu, aka Small, were arrested at Ogojueje in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi on January 19, 2018, they confessed to the police that Senator Melaye hired them to cause unrest in the state ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The criminal suspects disclosed that the lawmaker handed them a bag containing one AK-47 rifle, two pump action guns and the sum of N430,000 to unleash mayhem in Kogi.

The police first requested Melaye's presence in a letter addressed to Senate President, Bukola Saraki, dated March 2, 2018, urging him to report to the Police on March 7 to answer to the criminal offences levelled against him, but he refused the invitation, alleging that the police was colluding with the Kogi state government to cause him harm.

He was officially declared wanted by the police on March 28, the same day he was due to be arraigned in court in Lokoja alongside Osama and Small who both escaped from their prison cell but were rearrested before April 1.

While attempting to travel to Morocco for an official engagement on Monday, April 23, Melaye was stopped by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. The operatives seized his international passport to prevent him from leaving the country.

According to the police, the lawmaker snatched his seized passport from NIS operatives and retreated to his house in Maitama, Abuja, where police officers later laid siege into the early hours of Tuesday, April 24.

Early on Tuesday, he announced that he would pay a visit to police authorities after his police escorts were withdrawn.

On Tuesday afternoon, with help from hoodlums, Melaye briefly escaped from police officers while he was being transported from Abuja to his home state.

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

He was arraigned before an Abuja Magistrate Court sitting at Wuse Zone 2 on a stretcher to answer charges brought against him by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) on Wednesday, May 2.

During his arraignment on Wednesday, Melaye was charged for criminal conspiracy, causing damage to government property, attempted suicide and escape from lawful custody.

Even though the presiding magistrate, Mabel Segun-Bello, granted the lawmaker bail in the sum of N90 million, he was re-arrested by police officers after his arraignment and was driven to Lokoja early on Thursday.

Earlier this year, the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation filed a lawsuit against Melaye for allegedly providing false information to the police about an assassination attempt on his life.

In the suit (CR/106/18) filed before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Maitama on January 31, 2018, Melaye is accused of falsely incriminating Kogi's Governor Yahaya Bello's Chief of Staff, Edward Onoja David, as well as making false statement in regards to the attempted assassination.

On March 1, Melaye was granted a N100,000 bail after he was asked to provide a surety who is not less than a level 14 in the Federal Civil Service. The presiding judge, Olasumbo Goodluck, adjourned till May 16 and May 17 for the commencement of trial.

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