Senator Melaye denied bail, remains in police custody
Nigerian senator Dino Melaye has been coming to court on a stretcher (BBC/Salleh Ashaka
Lokoja, may 3, 2018 (AltAfrika)-Embattled Nigerian Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, is to remain in police custody after being denied bail in the case of an alleged conspiracy and aiding of jailbreak.
The lawmaker was brought to court in a police ambulance around 9:17 am. However, before his arrival, heavily armed policemen took positions within and outside the court premises.
As the case commenced, the prosecution, Alex Isihon, stated that the court did not have the jurisdiction to entertain the case.
But counsel for Senator Melaye, Mike Ozekhome, in his submission argued that the court had the powers by virtue of the Constitution to try the case.
He quoted Section 60 of the Penal Code which stated that the offence of conspiracy is bailable according to the Kogi State Administration of Criminal Justice.
After a short recess, Chief Magistrate Suleiman Abdulahi denied Melaye bail and ruled that he should remain in custody for the next 39 days.
The case was then adjourned until June 11, 2018.
Mr Melaye who was carried to the court room on a stretcher has been accused of sponsoring and arming political thugs. He denies the allegation, saying he is a victim of a plot to end his political career.
He is known to be at loggerheads with Kogi state governor Yahaya Bello, even though they both belong to the ruling party.
Yesterday, police wheeled Mr Melaye on a stretcher into a magistrate court in Abuja on charges of attempting to escape from “lawful custody”.
The Abuja magistrate granted Mr Melaye bail of 90m naira ($250,000; £184,000), but he was re-arrested by police soon thereafter.
Mr Melaye had been under police guard in a hospital in Abuja since last week after he sustained injuries while allegedly trying to escape by jumping out of a police vehicle. His allies say he was pushed.
At the weekend, the election commission threw out a petition to force him to step down as a senator, saying only about 5% of signatures – 18,742 out of 189,870 – could be verified.
The senator is well known for his love of luxury cars, champagne and designer clothes, once appearing in a music video depicting his lavish lifestyle.
The song Dino, named after Mr Melaye, features lyrics like “100 cars in the parking lot like I’m Dino”.
The video shows rapper Kach pretending to eat dollar bills, displaying expensive cars, a mansion, jewellery and shoes.
Mr Melaye gained the nickname of the “singing senator” for posting videos on social media taunting a rival in song.