Court Remands Bedridden Senator Dino Melaye to Police Detention

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Senator Dino Melaye in court today, source: Sahara Reporters
A court sitting in Lokoja, Kogi State, presided over by a Senior Magistrate has sent Nigerian Senator, Dino Melaye to Police custody, reports Sahara Reporters.
The lawmaker representing Kogi West Constituency at the upper camber of Nigeria’s National Assembly has been remanded in police custody until June 11, 2018. He was brought to court on Thursday in a police ambulance to face charges in company of other suspects for allegedly arming thugs.
The senator had on Wednesday been charged to an Abuja magistrate  court for ‘criminal conspiracy,’ damaging government property, escaping from lawful custody and attempted suicide.
The court granted him bail at N90 million but the police arrested him again and arraigned him before a magistrate court sitting in Lokoja, Kogi State.
The Nigerian Police Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood released a statement concerning the incident which reads:
“Senator Dino Melaye was arraigned in court by the Police today, 2nd May, 2018 at the Chief Magistrate Court, Wuse, Abuja for Criminal conspiracy, causing damage to government property, attempted suicide and escape from lawful custody.”
Senator Melaye had been accused of jumping out of a moving police vehicle transporting him to Lokoja to face charges of ‘criminal conspiracy. The police however alleged that some armed hoodlums attacked the police van conveying the senator and aided his escape.  Melaye was taken to a private hospital in Abuja for treatment to injuries he sustained after the ‘attempted escape’ but the police arrested him and transfered him to the National Hospital Abuja.
Senator Melaye had on Saturday so-called through a recall process initiated by Nigeria’s electoral body, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after it could not verify sufficient number of signatures needed to recall a lawmaker. Results released by INEC reveals that only 5% of the registered voters sucesfully verified their signatures whereas the law stipulated that 51% of the consistens are needed to recall a sitting member of the national assembly.  The recall process was married with irregularities over the inclusion of dead people in the register as signatories to Senator Melaye’s recal.
The travails befalling Mr Melaye has been viewed across Nigeria as an attack on the Nigerian national assembly  following the fistycuff relationship between the legislature and the executive. This is over the bill seeking to reorder the elections in Nigeria was perceived by some people as targeting President Muhammadu Buhari’s reelection bid in 2019.  Also,  a senator, Matthew Urhoghide (Edo-PDP) who raised concerns over the unconstitutional approval of $496 million for the purchase of 12 super tucano planes was on Friday attacked by some hoodlums in Benin, Edo State. He was attacked for raising the motion for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari but the senator denied moving a motion for impeachment against the president auguring that he only raised concerns over the illegality of the payment.
President Buhari had in February approved the payment if $496 million for the purchase of 12 fighter jets to aid the Nigerian military in the fight against insurgency in Nigeria’s north east. The National Assembly raised concerns because the said approval was not vetted and appropriated by the legislature as Nigerian laws stipulate.
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