Obstruction Charge: Melaye’s Brother, Lawyers Secure Bail

Dino Melaye Urges Buhari To Halt Planned $1.5bn Expenditure On PH Refinery

After five days of being remanded in prison custody, an Abuja high court sitting at Mpape, has granted bail to a brother of the embattled senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, Samuel, and three others.

Magistrate Mohammed Zubairu had on Wednesday last week, remanded the quartet in Kuje prison after they were docked by the Nigerian Police Force for obstruction.

The charge followed the incident at Area One Roundabout in Abuja, which botched alleged moves to forcibly relocate Melaye to Lokoja in Kogi State to answer to pending criminal allegations against him.

The embattled lawmaker was said to have jumped out of the police van conveying him to Lokoja, and was allegedly whisked away by his supporters who were said to have blocked the road with their vehicle.

Senator Melaye was subsequently re-arrested at a private hospital where he was admitted for treatment, and later transferred to the National Hospital in Abuja by the Police.

Aside from Mr. Samuel, other people remanded by the court over the incident were Mohammed Wazari and two lawyers, Amaefula David and Pius Inyang.

The two lawyers who are from the chambers of Ricky Tarfa (SAN), a firm representing Senator Melaye, were allegedly picked up by armed policemen after the lawmaker was re-arrested at the hospital.

While David was said to had earlier accompanied Melaye to the headquarters of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS), in Abuja to enter his statement to allegations against him, his colleague, Inyang, was arrested when he went to buy water from a kiosk at the hospital where Mr. Melaye was initially admitted for treatment.

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) had condemned the arrest of the two lawyers and demanded their immediate release from prison custody.

The Abuja branch of the legal body equally mobilised its members and stormed the Magistrate Court in solidarity with their detained colleagues.

Meantime, following a bail application the defendants filed through their lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Magistrate Zubairu granted them bail in the sum of N200, 000 with one surety each in like sum.

The court stressed that the sureties must be resident in the Federal Capital Territory(FCT).

However, a mild drama played out in the court premises as members of the NBA that were in court for the case, clashed with over 50 armed policemen that were deployed to the court, resulting to an intense war of words between both parties.

Trouble started after the policemen attempted to seize placards from protesting lawyers.

The lawyers numbering over 100 resisted the move and held firm to their placards, even as they accused police authorities and the Federal Government of not only engaging in witch-hunt, but also resorting to self-help. At a point, as if on cue, the police officers encircled the lawyers and demanded that they leave the court premises.

The action attracted more lawyers who immediately joined and intensified the protest, insisting they would not vacate the premises until their colleagues were released.

Meantime, the counsel to the defendant, Mr. Ozekhome, condemned what he termed unconstitutional conduct of the security agents who he said handcuffed the young lawyers while conveying them to the court for ruling on their bail application.

Mr. Ozekhome said the country should resist a return to tyranny and undemocratic actions by the government.

Police had in the FIR it filed before the court,  slammed the four defendants with criminal conspiracy, obstruction of public servant from performing his lawful duties, as well as abatement and assault on police officers.

Offences the defendants committed were said to be contrary to sections  97, 85, 267 and 173 of the Penal Code Law.

Leave a Reply