Dino Melaye's Trial: Magistrate Finds Something Strange
The trial of the Senator Representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, has been adjourned because of certain issues identified by the Senior Magistrate, Sulyman Abdullah.
Senator Melaye has been indicted for illegal possession and dealing in arms.
The police had said some suspects claimed they were handed arms by the Senator, who has produced a 'music video' in defence of the allegation.
Before the case was adjourned, Senior Magistrate Abdullah, expressed concern about some matters he observed.
“This is a case that this court will appreciate that everyone puts what he or she has on the table. I am not comfortable with sworn depositions replacing oral testimonies of witnesses.
“The application of the prosecution is refused and I want this trial to be concluded in the normal ways trials are done and will be ready to take evidence day-to-day if need be," he said.
Counsel Alex Izinyon, leading the prosecution reminded the court that the pleas of the defendants were not taken on arraignment on May 3.
Izinyon submitted that the court had jurisdiction to try the case and therefore urged it go ahead to take the pleas of the defendants.
Melaye, who was granted bail on May 16 by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Nasir Ajanah, had his plea taken alongside other defendants, saying the allegations were false, just like he had stated in one of his videos.
The prosecution counsel applied for the leave of the court to have prosecuting witnesses forward their depositions to the defence.
He told the court that the deponents would attend the court to adopt the depositions and have their depositions cross examined.
Mr Yemi Mohammed, holding brief for Mike Ozekhome, counsel to Melaye, objected to the application.
He insisted that the case has criminal implications in which witnesses must give their testimonies in open court, adding that the “front-loading short-cut system” would be prejudicial.
The Senator was arraigned along with Kabiru Seidu, 31, aka “Osama” and Nuhu Salihu, 25, aka “Small”.
After listening to both parties, Senior Magistrate Abdullah, adjourned the case till July 26, saying time will enable the parties involved to prepare well for hearing.