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10 May 2018

Ruling on Dino Melaye’s bail application takes a new twist

The trial judge in the bail application of the Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, has reserved judgement till 16th May, 2018.

Justice Nasir Ajana adjourned after listening to arguments from both the prosecuting counsel, Dr. Alex Iziyon (SAN) and the defense counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN).

Earlier, the prosecuting counsel had told the trial judge not to grant the bail application, as the defendant had been certified fit to stand trial.

He filed a counter affidavit to the effect that Melaye had made an attempt to escape by jumping out of the Police van taking him to Lokoja.

Ozekhome, in his response, said that the senator managed to run away from the scene after being tear-gassed; adding that someone who wanted to escape justice would either run to his village or any other place where he will not be easily reached; but in Melaye’s case, he ended up in National Hospital, Abuja.

Iziyon also argued that he did not believe for one minute that the senator was being treated in any hospital, saying that Melaye only feigned an ailment after he attempted to escape when being taken to Lokoja.

He argued that the defense counsel had not been able to prove that the alleged ailment was beyond the responsibility of the prison.

He said that there were medical facilities that could adequately take care of the defendant since it has not been proved that the so-called ailment requires specialist attention that cannot be provided by the prison authorities.

The defence counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), submitted that the prosecuting counsel got it all wrong, arguing that the Constitution allows a high court judge to administer an applicant to bail.

However, the judge held that both parties should agree on where Melaye will be held.

Ozekhome noted that they were in the court on the issue of bail, arguing that there were medical reports from the National Hospital, Abuja, confirming his client’s asthmatic conditions, and injuries in the spines and on the legs.

“His being transferred to intensive care unit of the National hospital from Police clinic was also a pointer to the fact that they recognised the dangerous condition he was in, as he was not taken to a hotels or a VIP lodge to relax, but to the National Hospital, Abuja,” Melaye’s counsel said.

“They have not also denied the fact that he suffered an attack right there before the senior magistrate and had to be given his inhaler to stabilise his condition.

“They have not put forward any documentary evidence to oppose the ones tendered before the court as regards his dangerous health conditions,” Ozekhome submitted.

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