Hearing begins in suit against accused in Melaye case

Dino Melaye

Hearing commenced yesterday at the Kogi state high court sitting in Lokoja, over the suit brought against the administrator of Ijumu local government area of Kogi state, Alhaji Taofiq Isa and four others over the alleged attempted assassination of the senator representing Kogi west senatorial district, Senator Dino Melaye.

Others arraigned alongside the council boss are Ade Obege, Abdullahi Isah, Michael Bamidele and Ahmed Ajayi in a five-count charge of conspiracy to commit culpable homicide punishable with death.

The proceeding resumed for hearing before Justice Aromeh Akogu, as prosecution opened its case by calling two witnesses to establish his case. This was preceded by a motion brought by the prosecution counsel, Lough Simon, for amendment of the charges brought against the five accused persons.

The amendment sought to change parts of counts 5, 6 and 7, the proof of evidence and the list of witnesses to be used in prosecuting the case. Counsel to the first, fourth and fifth defendants, Dele Adesina, SAN, however objected the motion as it affected prayers one and three, arguing that the prosecution should have sought leave of the court to file additional witnesses.

The presiding judge however granted the motion following which Simon led in the Prosecution Witness 1 (PW1), Saidi Isa, evidence-in-chief. Isa told the court how four men invaded Melaye’s residence, saying the shooting lasted several minutes and the gate and two windows of the building were destroyed.

Also, the PW2, Comfort Otuku, a Superintendent of Police and the Officer in Charge of general investigation, narrated to the court the event that led to the arrest of the accused persons. However, during cross-examination by Adesina, the witness contradicted her earlier statement where she had stated that the security operatives attached to Melaye were reprimanded for negligence.

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