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Melaye Senator to stay in prison as court denies him bail

He'll remain in police custody till his trial commences in June.

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Dogara warns Police nothing must happen to Melaye play

Senator Dino Melaye in court

(Gbenga Olorunpomi)

The Senior Magistrate Court 2 in Lokoja, Kogi state has ruled that Kogi West representative, Senator Dino Melaye, should be remanded in prison while he stands trial for criminal charges brought against him.

After months of dodging police invitations, the lawmaker was driven to Kogi state on Thursday, May 3, 2018, to finally face arraignment. The lawmaker appeared in court to face charges of criminal conspiracy, unlawful possession of prohibited firearms, kidnapping, armed robbery, murder, political thuggery and other violent crimes in Kogi state.

Chief Magistrate, Suleiman Abdulahi, denied the lawmaker's bail application and asked that he should be kept in custody till June 11, 2018 when the trial will commence.

The lawmaker will defend himself against charges brought against him by the police after he was implicated by two suspected criminals.

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.

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