Dogara Warns Police To Thread Caution In Melaye’s Trial

Dogara Warns Police To Thread Caution In Melaye’s Trial
  • PublishedMay 3, 2018

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has urged the police to prioritise the health and safety of a senator, Dino Melaye, who is in their custody.

Mr Dogara stated this on Thursday during plenary while responding to a point of order raised by Sunday Karimi (PDP, Kogi) who urged the house to intervene in the senator’s ordeals with the law.

Mr Dogara, while admitting that nobody is above the law, however said that he had not seen any country where anybody ”had been arraigned in court on a stretcher.”

Mr Melaye was arraigned for attempted suicide and other charges at an Abuja court on Wednesday while lying on a stretcher. Immediately he was granted bail in the sum of N90 million by the judge, he was rearrested by the police and transferred to Lokoja, Kogi State, where he is facing criminal charges.

“I have not seen in any country where someone is arraigned in court on stretchers when he or she is not fit to plead guilty or not guilty. If anything happens to him, (Dino) the responsibility will be on the security agency,” Mr Dogara said.

Mr Karimi said Mr Melaye is being persecuted for his political beliefs and that it could happen to any lawmaker.

He appealed to the House to look at the issue and make sure due process is followed, a prayer which the Speaker said is being handled by the Senate.

The embattled senator’s ordeal started last week last week when the Nigerian Immigration Service stopped him from travelling to Morocco.

He was detained for some hours and later released.

Operatives of the Police Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) later besieged his Maitama District residence in a bid to rearrest him. He however submitted himself to the police.

But a distraught Mr Melaye reportedly jumped out of a moving police vehicle while trying to escape being taken from Abuja to Lokoja, Kogi State, by the police to face trial.

He was rushed to Zankli Hospital and later taken to the National Hospital by the police who monitored him on his sickbed until Wednesday when he was arraigned for attempted suicide and destruction of public property, among other allegations.

He was arraigned in an FCT Magistrate Court after he was confirmed fit for trial, the police said.

He was again taken to another court in Lokoja by the police, Thursday morning, where he was charged for separate offences.

Mr Melaye had earlier gotten a court judgement directing the police to arraign in Abuja rather than his home state where he claimed his life is in danger. The police have ignored the ruling.

The senator had repeatedly linked his travails to the state governor, Yahaya Bello. The latter has denied the allegations.

Mr Melaye over the weekend escaped an attempt by some of his constituents to recall him as the process did not sail through.

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