Defense Counsel Explains Why Dino Melaye Was Absent From Court Today

Defense Counsel Explains Why Dino Melaye Was Absent From Court Today

Dino Melaye’s absence in court on Monday stalled his trial in the
ongoing alleged false information case before Justice Olasumbo Goodluck
of an Abuja Federal High Court.  

Melaye, the senator representing Kogi West in the National Assembly,
is facing two counts bordering on giving false information to the
Police. The Prosecuting Counsel, Shuaib Labaran, had arraigned Melaye,
alleging that the defendant had, sometime in April, 2017, deliberately
given false information to the Police.    

Labaran alleged that Melaye had deliberately volunteered information
that incriminated David Onoja, Chief of Staff to the Kogi State
Governor, as the mastermind of an assassination attempt on him. The
prosecution counsel further alleged that Melaye had, in April 2017,
given false statement of facts during a phone conversation with Mohammed
Abubakar, son of the late former governor of Kogi State, Abubakar Audu.
 

The senator, however, denied committing the offence, which
contravened sections 140 and 393 of the Penal Code Law, Cap. 89, Laws of
Northern Nigeria, 1963. On resumption of hearing today, Labaran told
the court that Melaye was absent from court, but that his counsel,
MOlusegun Jolaawo, had explained the circumstances of his absence to
him.

The prosecuting counsel informed the court that Jolaawo had appealed
to him to agree to his request for adjournment since the court had
initially given two different days for continuation of hearing in the
case. Labaran then informed the court that he was not opposed to the
defendant’s counsel’s request for an adjournment.  

Jolaawo informed the court that Melaye was absent in court because he
was in custody of the Police, “because the court does not take to
speculation, the defence team had obtained a certified copy order of the
FCT High Court by Justice Yusuf Halilu on January 9, ordering the
remand of the senator in Police custody.’’    

He said the defence team had tendered before the court, a filed
application for enforcement of Melaye’s right, filed by Chief Mike
Ozekhome (SAN) before Halilu. The counsel informed the court the date
the remand order would expire, which consequently made Justice Goodluck
to adjourned the case until January 28 for continuation of hearing.