EhiozeBlog Editorial (May 4, 2018)
I believe the Nigerian legal scholars and practitioners and court of public opinions are on a nonstop trending of the case of Senator Dino Melaye Vs The People of Nigeria. For the purpose of clarification, the flamboyant senator from Kogi (West) has been charged with gun running offenses. If convicted, it is a felony offense of the 1st and 2nd degrees. It carries a jail time of seven years (7yrs) or more with no option of fine or parole. There could be other charges such as Conspiracy to cause bodily harm or death to others and/or cause mayhem and disorderly conduct.
Yesterday, April, 3 2018 he made an appearance in court and was granted bail. But before one could say Jack Robinson, he was re-arrested on additional charges. He was immediately arraigned before the Magistrate who ordered him kept in police custody until his next court appearance date.
That got the jury of ordinary Nigerians and court of public opinion trending the news nonstop. People were confused and just didn’t get it. Unfortunately what the Prosecution did was a perfect legal maneuver to Keep the Senator behind bars. The Defense lawyers could have easily got him out on bail again with a prayer that their client has been granted bail on a more serious charge of the same related offenses; and as a result, it serves no purpose to remand him on a lesser charge. Then assure the presiding Magistrate the Senator was of no flight risk to jump bail — and the defense would welcome a gag order on the case. But the defense didn’t pray that … and the Senator was ordered held in police custody (just a fancy way of saying jailhouse).
Unfortunately the defense failed to do a good legal representation for their client and as we speak, Senator Dino Melaye is resting his feet comfortably behind the slammers. All in a perfectly legal maneuver on the part of Prosecution and thanks to the sloppy legal job of the defense.
In legal practice, there was no miscarriage of justice or injustice in what transpired, and the Senator got his fair day court. He has received justice from the laws of the land of which he himself is one of the authors and makers. His next court appearance day is scheduled for June 11, 2018.