The Kogi State High Court sitting in Lokoja yesterday ordered the Nigeria Police Force to transfer Senator Dino Melaye to the National Hospital, Abuja, in view of his health condition.
By his ruling, the Kogi CJ varied a Senior Magistrate Court’s order which had the remanded the embattled senator in police custody the previous day.
The Chief Judge of Kogi State, Justice Nasir Ajanah, gave the interim order in his ruling on two motions filed by the prosecution and the defendant challenging the ruling on Friday in Lokoja.
LEADERSHIP Weekend learnt that the two separate motions from the prosecution and the defence teams had urged the court to vary the May 3, Lokoja Senior Magistrate Court’s ruling which had ordered the embattled senator to be remanded in police custody.
The prosecution, led by Theophilus Oteme, Esq, the officer in charge of legal unit, Kogi Police command, in its motion sought that the lower court’s ruling be varied and the defendant remanded in prison custody as originally sought.
However, the defence team led by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) made two applications: one asking for the granting of bail to the senator and another urging the court to order that Melaye be remanded at the National Hospital, Abuja, in view his health challenges.
Arguing the motion, Ozekhome prayed the court, to in the interest of justice, abridge the time both motions would be taken because of Melaye’s critical health condition.
“He was taken to the lower court yesterday on a stretcher and, as we speak, he is still on the stretcher,” he said.
Ozekhome said that the life of the applicant was in danger since the police in the state had no medical facility to take care of him while in their custody.
The Chief Judge, in his ruling on the applications, said that while both parties were on the same page in their call for variation, their destinations on the issue of bail were different.
Ajanah said he was inclined to grant the prayers of the two parties in which they sought variation of the court order on the custody of the senator.
He, however, conceded that it was only a fit person that could stand trial.
“In the circumstance therefore, I hereby order that the third defendant be kept at the National Hospital, Abuja, under the custody and close watch and supervision of the complainant, the Inspector General of Police.
“The application for the bail in this case will be heard on Monday, the 7th of May, 2018”, Ajanah ruled.
Melaye had on Thursday been remanded in police custody until June 11 by Mr Sulyman Abdullah of the Lokoja Senior Magistrate Court.
The senator was arraigned along with Kabiru Seidu (alias Osama) and Nuhu Salihu (alias Small) – two men who had allegedly fingered the senator as giving them illegal arms and hiring them as political thugs ahead of the next general election.
They were charged with criminal conspiracy, illegal possession of firearms and illegal gun dealing.
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