…..Court grants Dino Melaye bail with the sum of N90m
The police on Wednesday arraigned Senator Dino Melaye before a Magistrate Court in Wuse Zone 2, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
He was accused, in a First Information Report (FIR), of destroying the side glass of a police vehicle, attempting to kill himself by allegedly jumping off a moving vehicle and allegedly resisting arrest.
He is said to have committed offences punishable under Sections 148, 153, 172, 173, 231 and 326 of the Penal Code Act.
The FIR reads: “On the 24th of April 2018, about 1330hrs at Area One roundabout Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the court, 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.
“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.”
When the FIR was read to him, Melaye, representing Kogi West Senatorial District on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), pleaded not guilty.
Melaye, dressed in native attire, was brought to court in a Police ambulance, and on a stretcher. The ambulance was marked: NPF2214D. He lay on the stretcher throughout the about an hour proceedings.
He was brought to court under heavy security. Entry and exit into the court premises was unusually restrained by the heavily armed riot policemen, numbering about 200, drafted to the court.
Shortly after Melaye pleaded to the information, lead prosecuting lawyer, Alex Izinyon (SAN) sought date for trial.
Defence lawyer, Nkem Okoro prayed the court to hear the bail application he filed for his client.
Okoro, while moving the application, argued that since his client is not charged with capital offence, he is entitled to bail.
He cited Section 162 of Administration of Criminal Justice (ACJ) Act, which sets out conditions to be considered before a bail application is granted or refused.
Iziyon objected to the bail application and urged the court to reject it.
Ruling, Magistrate Mabel Segun-Bello noted that bail is now liberalised under ACJA.
The magistrate said:”taking a look at 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.”
The magistrate said the prosecuting lawyer has not convinced the court as to how the defendant was likely to influence prosecution witnesses in the cause of his trial, if released on bail.
Mrs. Segun-Bello proceeded to grant Melaye bail at N90million with two sureties in like sum.
The magistrate said one of the sureties must be a civil servant not lower than Great Level 14, and that the other must have easily identifiable residence in Abuja.
Mrs. Segun-Bello ordered that Melaye must deposit his international passport with the FCT Police Command.
She further ordered the defendant to report at the Wuse police command every working day of the week until same is altered by the court.
The magistrate adjourned to June 6.
After the court’s proceedings, Melaye and his supporters remained in the courtroom for some hours, while his lawyer and others made frantic efforts to meet the bail condition.
Notable faces at the court with Melaye were Senators Ben Bruce (PDP, Bayelsa) and Abiodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekitit). The entrance to the courtroom was secured by about 10 riot policemen armed with AK47 rifles.
At about 4:20pm, Melaye was moved out of the courtroom, accompanied by the armed policemen, into the waiting ambulance packed within the court premises.
The vehicle was immediately driven away by a policeman, followed by a long convoy of police vehicles, with siren blaring. (The Nation)