Melaye on stretcher.
The hope of an early freedom for Dino Melaye, the senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District was dashed on Monday as a Kogi High Court in Lokoja adjourned hearing of his bail application and counter motion to Thursday May 10, 2018.
Melaye with Kabiru Seidu, alias Osama, and Nuhu Salihu, aka Small, is standing trial on seven-counts bordering on illegal possession of firearms, criminal conspiracy and illegal dealing in arms.
The Judge, Justice Nasir Ajanah, gave the ruling at the resumed hearing of the motions.
Ajanah, who is the Chief Judge of Kogi State, said the adjournment was to enable Melaye to file further and better affidavit on the bail application.
He said the adjournment would also enable the court to study the counter motions very well to be able to rule on the matter judiciously.
The prosecution, led by Dr Alex Izinyon (SAN), had urged the court not to grant Melaye bail because he had once escaped from lawful custody.
Izinyon said that the senator while in police custody from Abuja to Lokoja for arraignment allegedly jumped out of a police vehicle and escaped.
He said there was no guarantee that Melaye would be available for trial if granted bail, adding that his conduct in the alleged escape did not portray him as one who would respect bail conditions.
But counsel to Melaye, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), urged the court to grant his client bail because the circumstances that led to his alleged escape as portrayed by the prosecution were not true.
He said: “The truth of the matter is that initially the police told Sen. Dino (Melaye) that they would take him to a high court in Abuja for prosecution.
“But the police suddenly decided to head to Lokoja and Dino said while they were in the vehicle the police tear-gassed him twice.
“Melaye protested vehemently why they were taking him to Lokoja instead of Abuja.
“So, as soon as the vehicle carrying Dino came to a standstill at Area One Intersection Roundabout, Dino forced the door of the vehicle open and jumped down because he was gasping for breath so that he would not suffocate and die.
“Again when Dino jumped out of the bus and started shouting, the people around that area and his lawyers sympathised with him and took him to Sakling 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,” Ozekhome said.
The police had earlier arraigned Melaye in a Lokoja Senior Magistrates’ Court which ordered that he be remanded in police custody pending his arraignment in a high court in Lokoja.