Dino Melaye: Ozekhome tells court why Senator jumped off police van in Abuja

By Editor on 08/05/2018

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Melaye
Melaye

*Dino literally escaped death -  Ben Murray-Bruce

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Mike Ozekhome, on Monday revealed why Kogi West Senator, Dino Melaye jumped off a police van in Abuja.

Ozekhome, who is Melaye’s counsel, said his client jumped off the police van to avoid death.

The senior lawyer said this at a Kogi High court in Lokoja, the state capital.

He dismissed police claim that his client was trying to escape.

In his submission before the court, Ozekhome said, ”The truth of the matter is that initially, the police told Melaye that they would take him to a high court in Abuja for prosecution but the police suddenly decided to head to Lokoja and Melaye said while they were in the vehicle, the police tear-gassed him twice.

“Melaye protested against why they were taking him to Lokoja instead of Abuja. So, as soon as the vehicle carrying Melaye came to a standstill at Area One intersection roundabout, Melaye forced the door of the vehicle open and jumped down because he was gasping for breath and he did not want to suffocate and die.

”Again, when Melaye jumped from the bus and started shouting, the people around that area and his lawyers sympathised with him and took him to a medical centre in Abuja where the police again came and bundled him to the National Hospital in Abuja, where they chained him to his bed like a common criminal. ‘The question is if someone has the plan to jump bail, he will not allow himself to be in the hospital, he will run to his village or can even run out of the country.”

Recall that the Chief Justice of Kogi State High Court, Nasiru Ajanah had on Monday adjourned hearing on the bail application of Senator Dino Melaye. 

In a related development, the senator representing Bayelsa East constituency at the Senate, Mr. Ben Murray-Bruce, has adduced reasons why Senator Dino Melaye jumped out of the Police van.

In a tweet on Monday, Murray-Bruce disclosed that he was in the hospital to see Melaye, who represents Kogi West senatorial district at the Senate.

Murray-Bruce expressed his concerns about the embattled senator’s travails, saying, “Very sad to hear what transpired.”

He disclosed that Mr. Melaye is asthmatic, but that during his encounter with policemen, “the police gassed him and he could barely breathe.”

The tear-gassing of the senator wasn’t a one-off thing, Murray-Bruce said, noting, “Second time they gassed him” (and) “he had to force his way out of the vehicle.”

“Dino literally escaped death,” Murray-Bruce said.

The incident led to Mr. Melaye’s eventual hospitalisation.

It may be recalled that Senator Dino Melaye was arrested by immigration officers at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport on Monday, April 23, on his way to Morocco, but he managed to escape from the security personnel.

But later on the same day, policemen stormed his residence at Shanga Street, Maitama, Abuja, where they kept a vigil in a bid to arrest him.

On Tuesday morning, Melaye surrendered to the security operatives, who drove him away in a white Hiace bus followed by three other vehicles to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad facility at Guzape, Abuja.

Sources said Melaye surrendered to the police after some of his senator friends received assurances from the police authorities that he would not be taken to Lokoja where he alleged he might be assassinated.

It was gathered that Melaye, on suspecting that the police were taking him to Kogi State, engaged the officers in the bus in a scuffle and managed to jump out of the van after it was blocked by unidentified vehicles around 2.10pm.

Murray-Bruce noted that Melaye might have died if he had remained in the Police van.

Posted 08/05/2018 02:52:59 AM

 

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