Again, Melaye Fails to Get Bail, Court Fixes Ruling for May 16

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Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja

Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West senatorial district, who is currently standing trial for alleged gun running and conspiracy, yesterday failed to be granted bail by a High Court sitting in Lokoja as the court adjourned till May 16 for ruling.

The decision of the court was after a prolong legal fireworks by counsel of both parties, Dr. Alex Iziyon and Chief Mike Ozekhome, which lasted for four hours exchanging superior legal submissions.

The two applications before the court, one each from the counsel, were consolidated for ease of justice delivery.

Iziyon had told the court to vary the order given by the magistrate court in Lokoja, which ordered that the senator be remanded in police custody, and rule that he should be remanded in prison custody.

Moving his application, the counsel to the Inspector General of Police (IG) argued that what should govern the court was the affidavit in support of the application, which stated that the prosecution did not say that he was ill but it was the defendant that argued that he was ill.

However, the prosecution in a 23-paragraph counter affidavit in the application for bail by the defendant urged the court to refuse the bail application.

Moving the application for bail, Ozekhome argued that the motion for variation by Iziyon was uncalled for as the judge could not reverse himself on the matter.

According to Ozekhome, since the trial judge had already ruled according to Section 166 of the administration of criminal justice law of Ondo State, saying that the section did not say the court should vary an order it earlier made.

He noted that the prosecution failed to appeal the ruling of the court that Melaye should be taken back to the National Hospital in Abuja.

The counsel added that the prosecution had taken the senator from the private hospital to the Intensive Care Unit of the National Hospital because they knew he had health issues and didn’t want him to die in their custody.

While further arguing the application for bail for Melaye, his counsel cited Sections 35(1), 36(1,4,5,6b and 6c) of the 1999 constitution and Sections 156, 159, 160, 161 and 162 of the administration of criminal justice Law of Kogi State.

Ozekhome noted that the sections empower the judge to grant Melaye bail, arguing that even if he were accused of capital offence, that the judge still has power to grant bail.

The presiding judge, Justice Nasir Ajana, therefore fixed May 16 for ruling after listening to arguments from both counsel.