Lawyers blast police for declaring Dino Melaye wanted

Lawyers blast police for declaring Dino Melaye wanted

- Lawyers have chided the Nigeria Police Force for declaring Senator Dino Melaye wanted

- The legal practitioners said the action of the police is unlawful and illegal

- One of the lawyers said there is a recent court decision ruling against the police "whimsically" declaring somebody wanted

Some Nigerian lawyers have condemned the declaration of the senator representing Kogi West senatorial district, Dino Melaye, wanted by the Nigeria police.

According to Daily Independent, the lawyers said declaring Melaye wanted after suspects who allegedly indicted him of arms supply escaped from police custody is unlawful.

One of the lawyers, the national welfare secretary to the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Adesina Adegbite said the police orchestrated the drama between the force and the senator.

Adegbite said: “Basically right from the beginning of the whole drama, any sensible person will know that something was fishy somewhere.”

He said that the illegality of the action of the police is borne out of the fact that Melaye had earlier been in court physically with the force over allegation that he furnished them with false information.

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He said: “It is absolutely illegal and unlawful for the police to declare someone as wanted when they are in communication with him. He had even submitted to court summons involving him and the police.

“You can only declare wanted someone you cannot find; whose abode or place of work you cannot locate; or probably he’s out of the country or had become untraceable over a period. But Dino is a serving senator of the Federal Republic. How do you declare such a person wanted?

“This is someone that was seen in the National Assembly just last week," the legal practitioner said.

Adegbite added that it is unlawful for the police to have declared Melaye wanted. He said such action by the Nigeria police should be condemned by all well-meaning Nigerians.

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“That is a story which the police must explain as to how it came about, because this is a station we were told is thoroughly secured in Lokoja. Then all the officers in that station, rank and file, should be in detention by now. Somebody must tell us were the escaped suspects are.

Those under whose watch they were kept must be sanctioned properly not by newspaper announcement or press release. They must be seen to have been properly prosecuted for criminal negligence and conspiracy," he added.

Also speaking on the matter, the president of the pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Aka Ikenga, Goddy Uwazuruike, said there is a recent court decision ruling against the police whimsically declaring somebody wanted.

Uwazuruike said: “I know that there is a recent court decision to that effect. There are some conditions precedent that must be satisfied before you can exercise some powers like declaring someone wanted. And I say that with all sense of honesty, zeroing down to Dino’s case."

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He said the police has become involved in "comedy of errors over Senator Melaye's case".

“The link to Dino Melaye is XYZ (the suspected armed robbers). But today that link to Melaye escaped on the eve of their arraignment in court. So the court has no record of the case. Yet you declared him wanted on the strength of the information provided by the escapee suspects against him. Do you understand the irony?

“An escaped suspect named him. So the link is no more there. And that is the mistake most of the security agencies make. If there is no direct link to that man, then you cannot charge him to court. If there is no person pointing at him in the presence of the man, the law, the police and the court, then there is nothing to do.

"So it is just another comedy of errors tied to the process of his recall, with a specific aim of making sure he is not re-elected, and with the specific aim of discouraging him, because the police know that if you charge a man with armed robbery, with abuse and murder, the man might as well kiss his political career good bye,” he said. earlier reported that the Nigerian Senate had ordered its committee on police and judiciary to investigate the issues surrounding the rift between Senator Dino Melaye, the inspector general of police, Idris Ibrahim, and Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state.

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The Senate in its order urged its committee on police and judiciary to investigate and report to it within the next 48 hours.

Also, Melaye during the plenary on on Tuesday, March 27, said he is yet to receive an arraignment notice by any court in Nigeria.He said the same suspects that were arrested by the police are also claiming that he gave them arms.

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