Dino Melaye’s Kidnap, Confirmed By Family Members, Lawyer
In a developing story surrounding the whereabouts of the lawmaker representing Kogi West in the Senate, Dino Melaye, a lawyer, Yemi Mohammed, on Thursday, confirmed that senator was attacked at Gwagwalada , Abuja on his way to Lokoja on Wednesday.
Mohammed, who represented Melaye’s lead counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), said this at a Senior Magistrate’s Court in Lokoja, Kogi State where Melaye is facing charges of illegal possession of firearms and arms dealing.
In his words, “I learnt that he was attacked yesterday (Wednesday) in Gwagwalada on his way to Lokoja to attend his trial and up till now, I have not been able to reach him, I don’t know where he is at the moment,’’ the lawyer said.
The magistrate, Sulyman Abdullah, adjourned the case till August 9 for the commencement of trial as the prosecution could not open its case due to the absence of its lead counsel, Dr Alex Izinyon (SAN).
The Officer in Charge of the Legal Department of the Kogi Command of the Nigeria Police, Mr Theophilus Oteme, told the court that Izinyon had an emergency call on Wednesday that made it impossible for him to appear in court on Thursday.
Oteme, therefore, applied for an adjournment until September 23 for the commencement of trial in view of the absence of the lead prosecutor. More so, one of the defendants, Melaye, was not in court.
In his ruling, Abdullah turned down the application by the prosecution for a long adjournment till September 23.
He said that the Kogi State Administration of Criminal Justice Law did not allow for an adjournment beyond two weeks in a criminal case.
The magistrate, therefore, adjourned the case till August 9 and ordered that the bail earlier granted to Melaye continued.
Abdullah, however, ruled that the other two accused persons, Nuhu Salihu, alias “small’’, and Kabiru Seidu, also known as “Osama’’, standing trial on a seven charges bordering on illegal possession of firearms and arms dealing, should remain remanded in the police custody.
Recall that as reported by Naija News, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce had on his Twitter handle on Thursday, alleged that Melaye was abducted on his way to Kogi state.
Melaye’s telephone lines indicated that they had been switched off when several attempts were made to contact him by one of Punch’s correspondents.
His Special Assistant on Media, Gideon Ayodele, also did not answer the several calls made to his telephone lines. He also did not reply a text message sent to him asking about the whereabouts of the lawmaker.
But a Melaye’s family source, who spoke with Punch at about 8.30pm on Thursday, confirmed that the senator was free.
Another family source said, “He (Melaye) is getting better, as he managed to escape from his abductors.”
But when contacted on Thursday night, Melaye’s lawyer, Ozekhome, told one of our correspondents that he had only been in contact with the senator’s brother while he also expressed hope of positivity.
“I am in touch with his brother. I believe all will be well,” the senior lawyer said.
Meanwhile Naija News recalls that the Nigeria Police Force says it has not received any complaint or report in any of its divisions or stations throughout the Federal Capital Territory or any other state command about the kidnap of Melaye.
However a statement by the force spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, in Abuja, however, said they had commenced an investigation into the attack on the senator.
“The attention of the Police were drawn to the report of the purported kidnap of Senator Dino Melaye in some sections of the media. However, the Force has commenced an investigation into the purported kidnap of Senator Dino Melaye.
“We wish to implore any of his family members, relatives or friends who witnessed the kidnap or have information about the purported kidnap of the Senator to report the incident at the nearest police station to assist the police in the investigation.”
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