Show cause for detaining Melaye, court queries police

Atiku appoints Dino Melaye, Daniel Bwala as spokespersons
Dino Melaye

An Abuja High Court sitting in Maitama has queried the Nigeria Police Force over the continued detention of Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye.

The court ordered the police to explain the reason for the detention on Thursday.

The order was given by Justice Yusuf Halilu following the complaint by Melaye’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, that his client had been held contrary to the law.

It would be recalled that Melaye has been held by the police since January 4, 2019 over alleged involvement in the shooting of a policeman in Kogi State.

“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,” Ozekhome argued.

However, the counsel to the respondents, Mr. Simon Lough, told the court that he got the motion on notice on Wednesday and needed five days according to law to reply.

While stating that he was not aware of the order of the court for the police to show cause, he said he, as counsel, did not have the power to effect his investigation which was ongoing, ahead of the plan to charge him to court.

He sought for an adjournment of the case to enable him prepare his response before January 18.

However, the judge said that the police was put on notice to come and show cause why the detained senator should not be granted bail.

Said the judge:  “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 January 14, that the police should come and show cause.’’

Eventually, the judge granted the plea for and adjournment till January 18.

This was to allow the respondent file the reply to the application.