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Published On: Fri, Jan 4th, 2019

Police can’t vacate Dino Melaye’s residence, Court rules

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By Vivian Okejeme Abuja

Justice N.E. Maha of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, in an ex-perte order, refused an application by Senator Dino Melaye to order the Nigerian Police Force to vacate the blockade it mounted at his residence.
However, the judge ordered for an accelerated hearing of the matter.
In the fundamental rights enforcement suit filed against the Police, the embattled Senator, representing Kogi West Senatorial District, had through his counsel, Mr. Nkem Okoro, prayed to the court to order the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to direct his men to discontinue the siege they laid at his Abuja residence.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1632/2018, the controversial senator, who is already facing two separate charges, applied for an interim order of the court, directing the police, to not only vacate his Abuja residence, but to also remove all blockades in front of his house to allow his family and political associates to have access to him.

Arguing his case, the plaintiff maintained that the continued action of the police in denying him freedom of movement and personal liberty, amounted to gross abuse of his fundamental human rights as enshrined in the 1999 constitution, as amended.
Also, he asked the court to restrain Police from further threatening his life or putting his life in jeopardy, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
He added that the court should order the police to desist from taking further steps to arrest him, pending the hearing and determination of the suit before the court.
Delivering her ruling, Justice Maha, as a vacation judge, said it would be better to transfer the case-file to the Chief Judge of the High Court, Justice Abdul Kafarati, for re-assignment in view of the fact that her sitting as a vacation judge ends today(Friday).
The matter had been adjourned till January 14 as Police had insisted on arresting the lawmaker following his alleged involvement in the murder of a police officer.
The police, who maintained that its action was backed with a valid arrest warrant, said Melaye was wanted for the alleged shooting of one Sergeant Danjuma Saliu who was attached to 37 Police Mobile Force.
Sergeant Saliu was allegedly shot while on official duties along Aiyetoro Gbede- Mopa road in Kogi State.

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