A Federal Court in Abuja has granted Dino Melaye, a Kogi state senator, N100,000 bail after he was arraigned for allegedly making false claim about an assassination attempt.
The Court on Thursday in Maitama adjourned the trial to March 16 and 17.
Mr. Melaye was arraigned by the federal government over a report he made to the police of an alleged attempt on his life at his home in Kogi State, April last year.
He is facing a two-count charge bordering on deliberately giving false information to frame the Chief of Staff to the governor of the state, Edward David, as the person behind the alleged attempt on his life.
The senator was also accused of making false statement of fact in a phone conversation with Mohammed Abubakar, a son of a former governor of the state, with the intention to harm Mr. David’s reputation.
The prosecution counsel, S A Labaran, stated that he was served two applications dated January 22 and filed on January 30 by the police, which were accompanied by an affidavit of completion of investigation.
Mr. Labaran said he then filed a five-paragraph counter-affidavit which was deposed by Godwin Odubo, a litigation officer in the office of Director of Prosecution in Kogi State.
He asked for two clear dates to enable him present his witnesses for the trial.
“The witnesses are not ready because we have an expatriate (among them) and there are certain diplomatic process to be taken,” he said.
Mr. Melaye’s counsel, Rickey Tarfa, however argued that he needed to question the prosecution counsel because the application he served him at about 9.a.m on Thursday was filed, processed and served within one hour.
He applied that paragraph 4 of the counter-affidavit be struck out because it was allegedly based on speculations and was therefore not in line with the provisions of the Evidence Act.
Mr. Tarfa then submitted an application for bail for the accused person.
But the prosecution counsel objected, saying that the basis on which the defence was applying for bail needed to be carefully considered.
The judge, Olasumbo Goodluck, however, accepted the defence’s plea and granted Mr. Melaye bail for N100,000 and asked him to produce a surety in the civil service who is on salary grade not lower than level 14.
The judge declined to strike out any of the paragraphs in the charge sheet until the court begins the proper trial.
“The facts relate to the substance of the information before this court, hence it will be preemptive of this court to make any pronouncement on the fact contained in the Paragraph 20, as it may ultimately affect the decision of the court in the substantive determination of the charges before this court,” she said.
“More importantly, the court is of the view that the fact contained in the paragraph are not relevant for the consideration over the application of bail,” she said.
She then adjourned to March 16 and 17 for continuation of trial.
Speaking to journalists after the court hearing, Mr. Melaye brought out a toothbrush, toothpaste and a beverage, saying he had prepared himself for being remanded in prison by the court.
Some senators and supporters of the accused person had thronged the court from early in the morning to witness the trial.
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