Siege to house: Court rejects Dino Melaye’s request to restrain police

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Kogi West Senator Dino Melaye yesterday lost his bid to end the six-day old siege to his Abuja home by policemen.
A Federal High Court in Abuja rejected his ex-parte application, in which he, among others, sought to compel the police to end the blockade.
Justice Evelyn Maha, in a ruling, after listening to Melaye’s lawyer, Nkem Okoro from the law firm of Mike Ozekhome (SAN), declined to grant the interim injunctions sought by the (Peoples Democratic Party) senator in his ex-parte motion.
Instead, Justice Maha ordered accelerated hearing of the substantive suit – a fundamental rights enforcement suit.
Justice Maha, who noted that she would cease to act as the court’s vacation judge by January 4 (when the court’s vacation ends), said elected to return the case file to the court’s Chief Judge for re-assignment to a new judge.

The judge fixed January 14 for the hearing of the main suit.
Melaye had, in the ex-parte motion, prayed the court for an interim order, directing the police to vacate his residence, remove all blockades in front of his residence and allow family and political associates access to him.
The PDP senator had equally prayed the court for an order restraining the police from further threatening his life or putting his life in jeopardy pending the determination of the substantive suit.
He also sought the order restraining the police from arresting him, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
The police have, in a recent statement, claimed that Melaye is wanted for “Criminal conspiracy and attempted culpable homicide, committed on 19th July, 2018.”
According to the police, Melaye and “his armed thugs attacked police personnel; shot and wounded Sgt. Danjuma Saliu, attached to 37 Police Mobile Force (PMF) on stop and search duty along Aiyetoro Gbede, Mopa Road in Kogi State.”
The police have reportedly vowed to maintain the siege to Melaye’s house until he surrenders.
Lagos lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has advised the senator to submit himself for arrest by the police in order to end the drama and the unwarranted inconvenience to which his family and neighbours have been subjected.
In a statement issued in Lagos in reaction to the insistence of the police to arrest Melaye on the allegation that he committed offence of criminal conspiracy and attempted culpable homicide, the activist lawyer urged legislator to do so without any further delay.
Falana said: “By politely requesting Senator Melaye to submit himself for arrest, the police has accorded him the special treatment that is normally reserved for Very Important Personalities (VIP’s) in Nigeria by security agencies”.
He contended that but for Melaye’s privileged position in the country, the police would have forcefully arrested him without laying any siege to his house.
The senior advocate descried as unfortunate that the decision of the senator not to submit himself for investigation, led to the situation where policemen have laid a siege to his residence.
“To buttress his advice to the senator to submit himself for arrest, the senior lawyer cited a decided case relating to the matter.
He said: “the Supreme Court has made it abundantly clear in the case of Dr. Oladele Fajemirokun v Commercial Bank (Nig) Limited (2009) 21 WRN 1 that no court has the power to restrain the Police from arresting any citizen who is alleged to have committed a criminal offence.”