An Abuja High Court sitting in Maitama, on Friday, granted bail to Senator Dino Melaye who has been in police custody for 14 days.
Melaye, the senator representing Kogi West in the National Assembly, who has been in police custody since January 4, approached the court for enforcement of his fundamental right.
Justice Yusuf Halilu gave the order after Melaye’s counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) informed the court on Thursday that his client has been in police custody since January 4 against what the law stipulated.
“We are talking about the liberty of a citizen not because he is a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but a citizen. This is contrary to sections 35 and 36 of the Constitution of Nigeria.
“If you keep a man for 13 days, you have already presumed him guilty,” he submitted.
However, Simon Lough, the respondent counsel, told the court that he only got the motion on notice on January 16, and needed five days according to law to reply adding that he was not aware of the order to show cause.
He said though Melaye was in the police custody, he as the counsel does not have the power to determine his investigation, which was ongoing, preparatory to charging him to court.
Lough, therefore, prayed the court for an adjournment to enable him to file and serve his reply before January 18.
The judge explained that the police was put on notice to come and show cause why the detained senator should not be granted bail.
“The court was approached by the police for his custody and the court granted it, and now the court ordered that the police should come and explain why he would not be released.
“I granted an order on January 14, that the police should come and show cause,’’ the judge said.
He, however, adjourned hearing till Friday to enable the respondent file his reply on the applicant.
When the case resumed on Friday, the judge ruled that he found no cause to keep the Senator in detention and granted him bail.