An Abuja High Court sitting in Maitama on Thursday ordered the police to show cause over its continued detention of Sen. Dino Melaye.
Melaye, the senator representing Kogi West in the National Assembly, who has been in police custody since Jan. 4, approached the court for enforcement of his fundamental right.
Justice Yusuf Halilu gave the order after Melaye’s counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) informed the court that his client has been in police custody since Jan. 4 against what the law stipulated.
“We are talking about the liberty of a citizen not because he is a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but a citizen, this is contrary to sections 35 and 36 of the Constitution of Nigeria.
“If you keep a man for 13 days you have already presumed him guilty,” he submitted.
Mr Simon Lough, the respondent counsel, told the court that he only got the motion on notice on Jan. 16, and needed five days according to law to reply.
He added that he was and not aware of the order to show cause.
He said though Melaye was in the police custody, he as the counsel, does not have the power to effect his investigation which was ongoing, preparatory to charging him to court.
Lough therefore prayed the court for an adjournment to enable him file and serve his reply before Jan. 18.
The judge explained that the police was put on notice to come and show cause why the detained senator should not be granted bail.
“The court was approached by the police for his custody and the court granted it, and now the court ordered that the police should come and explain why he would not be released.
“I granted an order on Jan. 14, that the police should come and show cause,’’ the judge said.
He, however, adjourned hearing till Jan. 18, to enable the respondent file his reply on the applicant.
Both parties agreed to the application for adjournment prayed by the respondent.
The judge further ordered the respondent to serve the applicant all the processes today.