About half an hour after he was arraigned and granted a N90million bail by an Abuja Chief Magistrate’s Court sitting in Zone 2 over an alleged escape from lawful custody, the police yesterday again rearrested a Senator representing Kogi West in the Senate, Dino Melaye.
His arrest took place on the court premises.
In a statement, the police yesterday said “the Police Investigation Team re-arrested Senator Dino Melaye today, 2nd May, 2018 after his arraignment at Chief Magistrate’s Court, Wuse.
“Senator Dino Melaye was arraigned in court by the Police today, 2nd May, 2018 at Chief Magistrate’s Court, Wuse, Abuja for Criminal conspiracy, causing damage to government property, attempted suicide and escape from lawful custody. His arraignment in court today was subsequent to his discharge from the National Hospital after he was confirmed fit for trial,” police said.
The Senator was arraigned by the police before the Abuja Chief Magistrate’s Court sitting in Zone 2 over for allegedly escaping from lawful custody.
Dino, who was brought to court with an ambulance, was wheeled into the court room on a stretcher amid tight security.
Dino was arraigned following Police First Information Report which alleged that on “24th of April 2018, about 1330hrs at Area One round-about Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the court that you Senator Dino Melaye of the Federal Republic of Nigeria while being conveyed in a Police White Hilux Bus with Registration number NPF 3354 D to Lokoja Kogi State to be arraigned in court for conspiracy and unlawful possession of prohibited Firearms in Charge Number CMCL/14SC/2018 filed at the Chief Magistrate Court Lokoja, you Senator Dino Melaye intentionally broke the side windscreen of the Bus and jumped out of the bus after it was blocked by a Hilux Vehicle with registration number Kaduna MKA 603 GY occupied by your younger brother Samuel Melaye and one Barrister Amefula David Emeka and driven by yet to be unidentified person who escaped from the scene after the blockade.
It further alleged that, “You Senator Dino Melaye after breaking the side windscreen attempted to kill yourself by jumping out of the bus and fell on the ground and thereafter started shouting that you want to kill yourself and implicate the Police for your death.
“That Police Officers who were escorting you in the bus tried to re-arrest you back to the bus but you resisted further arrest with the help of your brother Samuel Melaye and some lawyers in your company and further threatened to injure the Police officers if they try to further arrest you and you finally escaped from the scene in another Hilux vehicle”.
The FIR said that Melaye had allegedly committed an offence punishable under Sections 148, 153, 172, 173, 231 and 326 of the Penal Code Act.
Dino, however, pleaded not guilty when the FIR was read to him.
The prosecution counsel, Alex Izinyon SAN requested for a trial date but Nkem Okoro, counsel representing Melaye, persuaded the court to hear his application for bail.
Okoro argued that since the crime for which the Senator was being accused of was not a capital offence “under the law, the defendant is entitled to bail.”
Ruling on the bail application, Magistrate Segun-Bello noted that argument for and against had been considered and found out that under ACJA “it is imperative to state that bail has been liberalised.”
He went on: “Taking a look at the provision of Section 162 of ACJA, the prosecution counsel has not proven any reasonable apprehension that would warrant the court from denying the defendant bail.
“The prosecution counsel has placed nothing before the court to show why the defendant should not be granted bail.
“There is no evidence tendered before this court to substantiate the prosecution counsel’s claim that the defendant will jump bail.”
Consequently, the court upheld the argument of Dino’s counsel and granted the defendant bail to the tune of N90million with two sureties in like sum.
The court ordered that one of the sureties must be a civil servant not lower than Grade Level 14, and one must have easily identifiable residence in Abuja.
Moreso, the court held that Dino must deposit his international passport with the Federal Capital Territory Police Command.
In addition, the magistrate ordered that Dino must report to the Wuse police command every working day of the week until same is altered by the court.
At about 4:20pm, Dino was wheeled out on a stretcher out of the courtroom under the watch of police men into a waiting ambulance, under escort.
The court later adjourned till June 6 for trial. [NAN]