From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Kogi High Court sitting in Lokoja on Wednesday granted bail to Sen. Dino Melaye standing trial over alleged illegal possession and dealing in firearms along with two others.
The trial judge and Chief Judge of the state, Justice Nasir Ajanah granted the bail application filed on behalf of the senator by his counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome on Wednesday in Lokoja.
Our Correspondent reports that Ajanah premised his decision on the health condition of the embattled senator representing Kogi West senatorial district.
In the ruling, Ajanah declared that from the documentary evidence proffered in the case, there was no doubt that the third defendant was suffering from some kind of ailment.
“In addition to the asthma which the third defendant as alleged to be suffering from, the last medical examination shows him to have what is referred to as ‘Soft tissue trauma and stress related hypertension.
“I consider this health situation to be a special circumstance entitling the third defendant to the discretion of this court in admitting him to bail.
Ajanah said, “In the circumstance of this case and in the light of the documentary evidence and the state of health of the 3rd Defendant, I am convinced that he is not likely to evade his trial.
“I believe that at this stage in which it is shown from the nature of the charges that the prosecution has concluded their investigation, attention should be paid more to the expeditious prosecution of the main case.
“I do therefore hereby, grant bail to the 3rd Defendant in the sum of N10,000,000 and one surety in like sum.
“The surety must be a person of means and shall so depose to an affidavit of means with verifiable address.
Our Correspondent recalls that in the bail application Number HCL/156M/2018, Melaye sought a declaration that he was arraigned on a stretcher before the Lokoja Senior Magistrate Court.
That he was asthmatic and also suffers from cervical spine and leg injury in respect of which he had been receiving treatment at the National Hospital, Abuja.
He also urged the court to declare that keeping him at the Police Headquarters would seriously jeopardize his health condition and also render it impossible for him to satisfy the bail conditions earlier granted him by another court in Abuja.
The Prosecuting counsel, Dr Alex Izinyon who vehemently opposed the application in a 23-paragraph counter affidavit dated 7th May, deposed to by Sgt. Ibrahim Ademola, Izinyon said the issue of bail was a discretion remedy.
Izinyon said Dino did not have any outstanding medical problem, adding the the claim that he was asthmatic was not contained in the medical report as he only had Malaria attack.
Izinyon added that the Genesis and Revelation of the claim was Ozekhome’s afterthought.
In his defence, Chief Mike Ozekhome said there was no counter document from the prosecution on the medical document obtained from the National Hospital.
“If you feel the man was not sick why did you take him from the medical centre to a more renowned hospital with better medical facilities”, he queried.
He said the law provided that the court had the jurisdiction to grant bail to the defendant in exceptional cases like ill-health even if the case attracts capital punishment.