By Vivian Okejeme Abuja
The Federal Government yesterday, arraigned Senator Dino Melaye before Justice Olasumbo Goodluck of a Federal Capital Territory High Court Maitama, for giving alleged false information to the Police over assassination attempt made on his life on 15 April, 2017.
In a two count charge, the Federal Government claimed that, the senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, falsely incriminated the Chief of Staff to Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, Mr. Edward Onoja David, in the said assassination attempt.
In the charge sheet, Melaye was said to have told a son of a former governor of Kogi State, Abubakar, in a telephone conversation how he framed Edward Onoja David in the assassination attempt.
He pleaded not guilty when the two count charge was read out to him.
Sequel to not guilty plea, counsel to Melaye, Mr. Ricky Tarfa, SAN, prayed the court to grant him bail pending the hearing and determination of the matter.
He premised his application on sections 35, 36(5) of the 1999 constitution as amended, as well as sections 158 and 163 of the ACJA, 2015.
Reacting to the application, the prosecution counsel, Mr. Shuaibu Labaran, prayed the court to discountenance the bail request, alleging that Melaye evaded service of the court processes on him.
Further in his argument, Labaran submitted that Melaye would use his position to intimidate the witnesses if released.
In her ruling, Justice Goodluck, held that the Federal Government failed to adduce sufficient evidence that will warrant the court to deny the defendant bail. The trial judge held that Federal Government’s counter-affidavit “was bereft of persuasive evidence in opposition to the application for bail”, adding that the prosecution failed to controvert depositions in Melaye’s application.
The court held that the defendant is constitutionally presumed innocent until proven guilty. Consequently, the court granted Melaye bail to the tune of N100, 000. The judge ordered the defendant to produce a surety that must be a civil servant not below grade level 14, adding that the surety must be in the Federal Civil Service and must prove that he is resident within the Federal Capital Territory.
Subsequently, the case was adjourned till May 16 and 17 for trial.