Melaye’s Assassination Attempt: Court Drops Criminal Charges Against Suspects

Chairman, Association of Local Government of Nigeria, Taofiq Isa, and four others identified as Ade Obege, Abdullahi Isah, Michael Bamidele and Ahmed Ajayi, who were arraigned before a Kogi State High Court on Tuesday over an alleged assassination attempt on Senator Dino Melaye, have been discharged and acquitted.

According to the trial judge, Fola Ajayi, the criminal charges against the suspect was dropped as the prosecution were not able to call their witnesses despite four adjournments.

The four were arraigned in court after Senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West senatorial district in the National Assembly had, in April 2017, approached the court alleging an assassination attempt on his life by Taofiq Isa and four others.

However the trial judge struck out the case for lack of diligent prosecution, and further gave a consequential order for the prosecution to start their case afresh whenever they are ready.

Zakari Abbas who spoke on behalf of the defense counsels, commended the judge for the landmark judgment, as he noted that the petitioners were unwilling to present their witnesses, prompting the judge to arrive at the conclusion that the prosecution has not diligently pursued their case.

“Hence, the charge brought against the defendants have been struck out. As it stands, there are no criminal charges against the defendants.

“However, he gave a consequential order that whenever they are ready with their witnesses, they could approach the court to start their case afresh.”

Punch reported that Mr. Taofiq Isa on his own part expressed joy and described the ruling as “an act of God,” saying that the judiciary still remains the hope of the common man. He also said he has forgiven those who accused him wrongly and called on all Okun sons and daughters to come together in the interest of the development of the area.

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