Reps, Falana lambast police for arraigning Melaye on stretcher

By Editor on 04/05/2018

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Melaye on stretcher
Melaye on stretcher

The House of Representatives and a human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), have lambasted the Nigeria Police for arraigning Senator Dino Melaye in court on a stretcher.

Falana said in a statement on Thursday that the degrading and humiliating treatment meted out to Melaye was a violation of his fundamental human right.

The senior advocate said, “The arraignment of Senator Dino Melaye on a stretcher in Abuja on Wednesday and Lokoja on Thursday morning is unacceptable in a civilised society.

“It is particularly degrading and humiliating as it violates the fundamental right to the dignity of his person guaranteed by Section 34 of the constitution and Section 7 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.”

Falana, however, stated that Melaye’s ordeal was a reflection of the suffering ordinary Nigerians faced in the hands of security agents on a daily basis.

He, therefore, called on the National Assembly which had protested against Melaye’s arrest, to use the opportunity to call on the relevant agencies to turn a new leaf.

The activist said the National Assembly should give equal attention to the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), who have both remained in custody for nearly three years despite several courts granting them bail.

Falana added, “Even though the senator has my sympathy, it is indistinguishable that he has only been given a little dose of the humiliating treatment that is daily meted out to the flotsam and jetsam of our unjust society by the Nigeria Police Force and other law enforcement agencies in Nigeria.

“Therefore, the senator’s case should not be treated in isolation by the Senate and the bourgeois media. While the solidarity of the federal legislators with Senator Melaye is understandable, the tragic turn of events calls for sober reflection.”

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives on Thursday issued stern warnings to security agencies, particularly the police, over Melaye’s life.

Melaye, who represents Kogi-West Senatorial District, was said to have been driven in a police ambulance from Abuja to Lokoja on Thursday.

He was taken on a stretcher into the Federal High Court in the town, where he was arraigned over gunrunning allegations by the police.

 

The senator was later remanded in custody till June 11.

But the House said in Abuja that the sight of Melaye on a stretcher was that of a sick man who needed medical attention.

The House’ reaction came after a member from Kogi State, Mr. Karimi Sunday, raised a point of personal explanation on the floor to bring the “plight” of Melaye to the attention of members.

Sunday had alleged that Melaye was being persecuted by the Kogi State Government because of his strong views on certain issues affecting the state.

He stated, “Melaye is facing persecution from the state government because of his beliefs. We must do all that is within our constitutional powers to ensure that the rule of law prevails. What is happening to Melaye today can happen to any of us tomorrow, if we keep quiet.”

The Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, while ruling on the matter, said the House was satisfied with the steps taken so far by the Senate and was behind the upper chamber.

Dogara added, “All I can say at this point is that nothing must happen to Senator Melaye. If any law has been breached, the police must ensure that his life should be secured first.If anything happens to him, the security agencies will be held accountable.”

Posted 04/05/2018 06:53:21 AM

 

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