Court adjourns Melaye’s trial indefinitely

The trial of the lawmaker representing Kogi West, Senator Dino Melaye, in the alleged case of false information dissemination brought against him by the Federal Government has been adjourned indefinitely.

An Abuja High Court trying the senator in the alleged offence adjourned the trial sine die on Thursday, following the confirmation by the National Hospital, Abuja, that the lawmaker is on admission at the intensive care unit of the hospital.

Melaye was billed to appear for trial but his lead counsel, Mr Rickey Tarfa, in an application to justify the absence of his client, informed the court that the lawmaker was still lying critically ill at the National Hospital.

The senior lawyer tendered a medical report signed by the Director of Medical Services at the facility, Dr O. Olaniran, which confirmed that the senator was being managed at the intensive care unit.

He, therefore, urged the trial judge, Justice Olasunbo Goodluck, to consider the ill health of the lawmaker as a special circumstance that warranted his absence from trial.

Tarfa also urged the court to adjourn the trial, pending the time his client would recuperate from the sickness and be able to stand before the court to answer the two-count criminal charge against him.

But counsel to the Federal Government, Mr Shuaib Labaran, vehemently opposed the request for the adjournment by the defence counsel.

He stated that there was no fact before the court that Senator Melaye was arrested by the police and got injured in the process.

The prosecution counsel also claimed that a counsel from Rickey Tarfa’s Chambers who deposed to the affidavit on the request for adjournment was not a medical officer and, therefore, not in a position to ascertain the health condition of the senator.

In her ruling, Justice Goodluck held that from the gamut of the entire facts placed before the court, the prosecution did not controvert the fact that the defendant was in the National Hospital’s intensive care unit.

The judge agreed that the photocopy of the medical report was admissible in an interlocutory application as in the instant case and, therefore, rejected the submissions of the prosecution.

Justice Goodluck further held that it was fair and just for the court to examine all facts placed before it and that in doing so, it has been established that the defendant was having health challenges in the hospital.

The trial judge then adjourned the case sine die, pending the recovery of the lawmaker from the sickness to stand trial.

The Federal Government had on March 1 proffered a two-count criminal charge against Melaye on the allegation that he gave a false report to the police in the alleged attempt by some people to assassinate him in Kogi State.

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