A Prosecution witness, on Tuesday, told an FCT High Court that he pleaded with Senator Dino Melaye not to drink the substance he had in his hand when he threatened to commit suicide on April 24, 2018.
A police sergeant with the Inspector-General of Police Special Tactical Squad, Sgt. Alwo Mohammed, testifying to the court, said, “I pleaded with him to get back into the bus. I told him he was my most favourite Senator. He refused to get up. He had a substance in his hand.”
Melaye, who represents Kogi West senatorial district in the National Assembly, is charged before Justice Sylvanus Oriji, sitting in Apo, by the police with six counts bordering on attempted suicide, attempt to escape from custody and damage of police property. He was alleged to have committed the offence on April 24, 2018 while being conveyed by the police to Lokoja, Kogi.
The witness informed the court that while conveying the defendant to Lokoja, on reaching Area 1 roundabout, a white Toyota Hilux blocked their bus. He said the defendant then broke the windshield, stood up and started shouting ‘I will not go to Lokoja.’
“I held him down with one hand. While we were struggling with the defendant, he pushed one of the officers and forced the door open. The defendant then jumped out of the bus, sat on the ground shouting, ‘I will kill myself and put the police in trouble.’”
The witness further reported that street urchins then blocked the bus and seized Melaye. The police sergeant further informed the court that the police team chased the Hilux van and caught up with it at the Yar’Adua Centre.
“We caught up with them near Yar’Adua Centre because their vehicle had hit a jeep. Some of the men ran into the bush behind the National Mosque. Only one person was eventually arrested there.”
While being cross-examined by counsel for Melaye, Benson Igbanoi, who held the brief for Dr. Mike Ozekhome, SAN, the witness said that he gave a statement on the day the police team attempted to convey Melaye to Lokoja. Mohammed, who testified as the third prosecution witness (PW3), informed the court that the signature on the statement was his but denied that the phone number was his.
“I am not the owner of the MTN number 08067678745. It is not my phone number” he said. Igbanoi, offered to tender the statement as exhibit but the prosecution counsel, Mr Jovi Oghojafar objected to the application, arguing that the CTC was not paid for the document.
The defense counsel urged the court to overrule the objection, saying it was a public document and the name of the schedule officer who certified it and signature, were on the document. Justice Oriji ordered the defense counsel to pay the required fees before the document will be admitted in evidence.
The defense counsel asked for an adjournment to enable him put his house in order. The judge, then, adjourned the case until Sept. 11, Sept. 18 and Oct.3 for continuation of cross -examination of PW3 The offence, the prosecution said, contravened the provisions of sections 148,153,173,231, 326 and 327 of the Penal Code.