False info: Court discharges Dino Melaye in FG’s criminal charge

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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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Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

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