Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has summoned the acting Inspector General of Police over the continued detention of Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West in the Senate.
Justice Yusuf Halilu who issued the summons directed the police to appear in court and show cause while the relief sought by the senator challenging his continued detention should not be granted.
Senator Melaye has been in police custody since Jan. 4, over allegation bordering on attempted murder.
Moving the enforcement of his fundamental right suit before the court, his counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), informed the court that his client had been in police custody since Jan. 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, counsel the Inspector General of Police, Mr Simon Lough, asked the court some few days to respond to the suit on the grounds that he only got the motion on notice on January 16.
Lough, who further told the court that he was not aware of the order to show cause, said although Melaye was in police custody, he as the counsel, did not have the power to effect 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.
Justice Halilu explained that the police were 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 Jan. 14, that the police should come and show cause,’’ the judge said.
He, however, adjourned hearing till January 18, to enable the respondent to file his reply on the applicant.
Both parties agreed to the application for adjournment prayed by the respondent. The judge further ordered the respondent to serve the applicant all the processes today.