- Speaker Yakubu Dogara has tasked the Police to ensure the safety of Senator Dino Melaye, following the latter’s arraignment in court
- A lawmaker from Kogi had called for the House’s intervention into the matter, saying that Melaye was being prosecuted because of his beliefs
- Dogara said prosecution cannot come at the expense of death, and faulted the Police for arraigning the senator when his medical condition has not improved
The Nigerian Police Force has been asked by the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, to ensure the safety of embattled Senator Dino Melaye, The Cable reports.
After attempting to flee from police custody following allegations that he had been involved in gun running, Melaye had landed in hospital and was subsequently charged to court.
NAIJ.com notes that following his arraignment at a Kogi court on Thursday, May 3, the senator would spend 39 days in custody.
The lower legislative chamber, at its plenary on Thursday, was urged to intervene in the matter by a lawmaker from Kogi, Hon Sunday Karimi.
He stated: “Melaye is being prosecuted because of this belief; and as members of the National Assembly, we cannot continue to keep quiet. There is need for us to act and prevail on the IG on the issue.”
The speaker, however, stated that the green chamber could not deliberate on the issue because it is a “motion of personal explanation'’ and is being deliberated upon in the Senate.
Dogara, however, frowned at the decision of the police to arraign Melaye in court while on a stretcher.
He said: “All I can say is that nothing must happen to the senator. If anybody in this country has committed an offence, the law is there for the person to be prosecuted or arraigned within the ambit of the law.
“So my admonition to the security agencies is to do everything possible to ensure that his life is secure first before prosecution. Prosecution cannot come at the expense of death. And that is very important, because if anything happens to him, squarely the responsibility will lie on the security agents. And that is without mincing words.”
The speaker said he has not seen a country where someone will be arraigned on a stretcher “when he is not even in the right frame of mind to even take a plea”.
He added: “So of what use is it taking someone to court when he cannot plead guilty or not guilty? What is more important is health first, before he is even tried.”
Recall that NAIJ.com previously reported that Senator Dino Melaye was denied bail by a magistrate's court 2 in Lokoja, Kogi state, in the case of an alleged criminal conspiracy, causing damage to government property, attempted suicide and escape from lawful custody.
The chief magistrate, Suleiman Abdullahi, denied the senator’s bail application and ruled that he would remain in custody till June 11, 2018.
Dino Melaye and 2019 criminal conspiracy - on NAIJ.com TV: