Assassination: Court grants council boss, 4 others bail

A Kogi State high court sitting in Lokoja, on Monday, granted bail to the administrator of Ijumu local government area of the state, Alhaji Taufiq Isah, and five others accused of masterminding the alleged assassination attempt on the Senator representing Kogi west senatorial district, Dino Melaye.

Each of the accused persons were granted bail to in the sum of N1 million with a reliable surety who must be a senior civil servant in the state in like sum.

Others arraigned alongside the council boss on a five-count charge of conspiracy to commit culpable homicide punishable with death were Ade Obege, Abdullahi Isah, Michael Bamidele and Ahmed Ajayi.

Ruling on the application for bail brought by the counsel to the defendants, A.M. Aliyu (SAN), the presiding judge, Justice Arome Akogwu, said the accused person had spent three weeks in police custody as against the time prescribed by the constitution.

According to him, the bail was also granted because the people had undertaken to attend their trials, adding that the prosecuting counsel did not object to the presumption of innocence pleaded by Aliyu.

Although, the prosecuting counsel, ACP Lough Simon, opposed the bail application on the ground that it was oral and not formally presented in writing, but the trial judge overruled the submission and upheld the bail application.

Simon had arraigned the council boss and others on a five-count charge of conspiracy to commit culpable homicide punishable with death on April 14 at Ayetoro Gbede, Ijumu local government area of the state.

Simon said Isah committed the offence of abutment contrary to section 83 and punishable under section 91 of the Penal Code.

According to him, Isah authorised other accused persons along with one Abdulmumuni with multiple nicknames including, ”Iron, Osama, Okene, Lukman and Lie Down Flat” on April 14, to use the ambulance of General Hospital, Iyara for the operation to kill Senator Dino Melaye and his household.

The accused were also said to have attempted to commit culpable homicide punishable with death by firing guns severally at the house and rooms of Melaye while the senator inside the house with his family and other security aides contrary to and punishable under section 229 of the Penal Code.

Other offences according to the prosecution include causing wrongful damage to the properties of the senator including vehicles, building walls and glasses when they allegedly shot at the said properties contrary to 326 and punishable under section 327 of PC.

However, two of the accused Michael Bamidele and Ahmed Ajayi were additionally charged with illegal possession of firearms (one locally made gun each) without licence contrary to section 27(1)(a) of the Fire Arms Act CAP F28 LFN 2004.

The judge however adjourned hearing on the matter to July 7, 8 and 9 for hearing.

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