Again, Melaye absent in court to answer gunrunning charges
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DINO Melaye, a senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, failed to appear before the Lokoja magistrate court on Thursday to answer to allegations of providing arms to criminals, brought against him by the Kogi State Police command.
Melaye was arraigned in court after two armed robbery suspects — Kabir Seidu, aka Osama; and Nuhu Salihu aka Smally — allegedly confessed that Melaye provided them arms with which they carried out their operations.
This is the second time Melaye is failing to appear in court over the matter. On the previous day of hearing, Melaye said he was attacked by kidnappers along the Abuja-Lokoja road, on his way to attend the hearing. This prompted the trial magistrate, Sulyman Abdalah, to adjourn sitting till, August 9.
At the resumption of trial, Melaye’s counsel, Yemi Mohammed, who stood in for Mike Ozekhome (SAN), told the court that his client could not attend the proceedings because he was ill. Mohammed also presented a medical report as evidence to his claim.
Counsel to the Kogi State Police command, Theophilus Oteme, did not oppose that the medical report be admitted in by the Magistrate. However, two of Melaye’s co-defendants filed a bail application.
The magistrate adjourned the case till August 21, for the hearing of the bail application, while the continuation of Melaye’s trial was adjourned to September 20.
Aside charges of providing arms to criminals, Melaye is facing several other charges, all brought against him by the police.
In one of the suits, he was accused of attempted suicide, damaging public property and attempting to escape from lawful custody. This came after he allegedly broke the glasses of a moving police vehicle and jumped off, while he was being driven to court in Lokoja.
In another court case, Melaye was accused of providing false information to the police, alleging that an aide to the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, had attempted to assassinate him.