By Boluwaji Obahopo
LOKOJA—The case instituted by Nigeria Police against Senator Dino Melaye, Muhammed Audu and two others has been transfered out of the Lokoja Federal High Court Division to Abuja Division, following a petition by Melaye alleging threat to his life if the case is attended to in Lokoja.
When the case came up for mention, prosecution counsel, G. O. Ojo, said he was ready to move the exparte motion requesting that the case be brought forward from the initial May 10 it was slated for.
Ojo argued that since the two suspects that indicted Melaye in the gunrunning— Kabiru Seidu, a.k.a. Osama and Nuhu Salisu a.k.a. Small —who had earlier escaped from Police custody had been rearrested, the case should commence earnest.
However, the judge, Justice Phoebe Ayua, cut him short, telling him he ought to have been notified of the new development in the case.
The prosecutor, who agreed he had not been notified, proceeded to argue on the motion exparte dated April 6, requesting for an early date to commence trial for the case.
Drama as prosecution insist on Lokoja
In a short ruling on the prosecution counsel’s demands, Justice Ayua said: “Hearing of this case has been overtaken by event.
“The Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Kafarati, had re-assigned this case to Abuja to be heard under Justice Gregor, following complaints by one of the defendants in the case.”
There was a mild drama in the court as the prosecutor tried frantically to convince the court on why the case should continue in Lokoja, saying only one person should not be allowed to change the discretion of the court.
But it was rebuffed by Justice Ayua, who maintained that the case must follow administrative protocol as prescribed by the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.