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Melaye Loses Bid To Stop Police Siege

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has turned down a motion exparte brought by the senator representing Kogi West constituency in the National Assembly, Dino Melaye.

The senator is praying the court to order the Nigerian Police Force to vacate his residence. Senator Melaye had told the court in the fundamental rights enforcement suit, that his Abuja home, located at Number 11 Sangha Street, Off Mississippi, Maitama, has been invaded and occupied by men and officers of the Nigerian Police Force.

The said exparte motion dated and filed on December 31, 2018, was brought pursuant to order 4 rule 3 ‎and 11 of the fundamental rights enforcement rule and section 33 and 35 (1) of the 1999 constitution. It sought among other prayers, an interim order of court restraining the officers and men of the Nigerian Police Force ‎to vacate the premises of Senator Melaye and to remove all blockades to the entrance so as to allow free entry and exist into and out of the premises.

An interim order of court restraining the respondents from further threatening the life of Dino Melaye or putting his life in jeopardy. The lawmaker also asked the court to restrain the police from taking further steps to arrest him or further infringe on his rights to free movement.

Counsel to Dino Melaye, Nkem OKoro, who moved the exparte motion argued that under section 23 to 30 of the Police Act, the police lacked the powers to block the premises of the applicant.

The motion was supported by a 36-paragraph affidavit attached with seven exhibits and a written address. After listening to the submissions of Okoro from the law firm of Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Justice Nkeonye Maha, held, “The motion exparte is refused.” She however ordered for accelerated hearing of the substantive suit marked FHC/ABJ/ CS/ 1632/2018, which she adjourned to January 14, 2019.

‎Meanwhile, the Judge has ordered that the case file be returned to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Kafarati, for re- assignment in view of the fact that her sitting as a vacation Judge ends today.

Before that, the court ordered that the process be served on counsel to the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, Dr Alex Izinyon (SAN), who was in court. He was in court upon receipt of a hearing notice, which was erroneously served, on his clients.

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