I have not been able to reach Dino Melaye – Lawyer

Lead counsel to Sen. Dino Melaye, Chief Mike Ozekhome has told a Senior Magistrate’s Court in Kogi that he has been unable to reach his client who has been undergoing trial alongside two others in the case of illegal possession of firearms and arms dealing in the court.

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Ozekhole who represented by Mr Yemi Mohammed, told the court that he had on good authority that Melaye was attacked in Gwagwalada on his way to Lokoja.

“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,’’ he said.

He spoke before the Senior Magistrate, Sulyman Abdullah, adjourned the case at Thursday’s adjourned sitting for commencement of trial as the prosecution also could not open its case due to absence of its lead counsel, Dr Alex Izinyon Court until Aug. 9.

Mr Theophilus Oteme, the Officer in Charge of legal department of Kogi command of the Nigeria Police, told the court that the lead prosecuting counsel, 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 Sept. 23 for the commencement of trial in view of the absence of the lead prosecutor more so that one of the defendants (Melaye) was not in court.

In his ruling, Abdullah turned down the application by the prosecution for a long adjournment to Sept. 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 Senior Magistrate, therefore, adjourned the case until Aug. 9 and ordered that the bail earlier granted to Melaye continued.

Abdullah, however, ruled that the other two accused persons, Nuhu Salihu, known as “small’’ and Kabiru Seidu also known as “Osama’’, standing trial on a seven-count charge bordering on illegal possession of firearms and arms dealing, should continue with their remand in police custody.

It will be recalled that Senator Ben Bruce had earlier announced that Melaye was abducted by unknown gunmen on his to Lokoja this morning.

But the claim has not been confirmed indepedently.

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