Nigeria: False Info - Court Discharges Dino Melaye in Govt'd Criminal Charge

An FCT High Court in Maitama, on Tuesday discharged Senator Dino Melaye from criminal charges of giving false information to police brought against him by the federal government.

The office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) had prosecuted Melaye on a 2 count charge bordering on giving false information to the police.

At the conclusion of the prosecutor's case, Melaye's counsel, Olusegun Jolaawo (SAN) filed a no-case-submission.

Delivering ruling on the no case submission on Tuesday, Justice Olasumbo Goodluck held that there was no prima facie case established against the former Senator to warrant the court to call in him to enter a defence.

The court held that there was no evidence that the defendant gave false information to any person in public service.

Justice Goodluck held that "Neither of the two witnesses elicited evidence on the status of Mohammed Abubaker Audu."

The judge further held that the prosecution failed to present the said audio recording of the conversation between Melaye and Audu, nor was an audio expert engaged to ascertain the identities of the persons in the said phone conversation.

The judge also held that no investigative police officer was called to prove that indeed a report was lodged against the defendant.

"In the light of the foregoing consequences, I am of the view and will so hold that the defendant ought to be discharged as there is no reason to convict him in the circumstances.

"He is accordingly discharged on account of the fact that the no-case-submission succeeds" Justice Goodluck held

Melaye was alleged to have in April, 2017, deliberately given false information to police to incriminate Edward Onoja, then Chief of Staff to Kogi State governor, as masterminding an assassination attempt on him.

Melaye was also alleged to have given false statement of facts in a phone conversation with Mr Mohammed Abubakar, son of former governor of the state, Abubakar Audu, with the intention of harming the reputation of Onoja.

He, however, denied committing the offence.

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