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‘Prosecution mustn’t be at the expense of death’ — Dogara breaks silence on Melaye

‘Prosecution mustn’t be at the expense of death’ — Dogara breaks silence on Melaye
May 03
14:39 2018
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Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, has asked the police to ensure the safety of Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west senatorial district.

Melaye has been a running battle with the Nigeria police force since he was accused of supplying arms to some arrested suspects.

The senator’s attempt to escape from police custody landed him in hospital, and charges were filed against him one week later.

On Thursday, he was brought before a Kogi court which denied him bail. He is to spend 39 days in custody.

At the house plenary, Sunday Karimi from Kogi called on the house to intervene in the senator’s travails.

Karimi had said: “Melaye is being prosecuted because of this belief. And as members of national assembly, we cannot continue to keep quiet. There is need for us to act and prevail on the IG on the issue.”

But Dogara said the matter is already being deliberated on the floor of the senate and being a “motion of personal explanation”, the house cannot debate on it.

He, however, frowned at the decision of the police to arraign the senator before a court while on a stretcher.

“All I can say is that nothing must happen to the senator. If anybody in this country has committed an offence, the law is there for the person to he prosecuted or arraigned within the ambit of the law,” he said.

“So my admonition to the security agencies is to do everything possible to ensure that his life is secure first before prosecution. Prosecution cannot come at the expense of death.

“And that is very important, because if anything happens to him, squarely the responsibility will lie on the security agents. And that is without mincing words.”

Dogara said he is yet to see a country where someone will be arraigned on a stretcher “when he is not even in the right frame of mind to even take a plea”.

“So of what use is it taking someone to court when he cannot plead guilty or not guilty? What is more important is health first, before he is even tried,” he added.

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