A House of Representatives candidate on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Blessing Agbomhere, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari’ and the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to release the Senator Dino Melaye.
The House of Representatives hopeful, who intends to represent Estako Edo Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, said it is unlawful to continue to detain someone who has not been found guilty of any offence, and even deny him medication.
Aghomhere believes that Melaye will win his election and should be allowed freedom to campaign.
Below is detailed text of the appeal:
A PASSIONATE APPEAL TO PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI AND THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE TO RELEASE SEN. DINO MELAYE FROM POLICE CUSTODY AS DINO WILL BE RE-ELECTED WHETHER DETAINED, DEAD OR ALIVE
This is to prevail on the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, to order the Inspector General Police, to release Senator Dino Melaye, a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing the good people of Kogi West, from Police custody.
There is no gainsaying the fact that Senator Dino Melaye is the most honest, factual and vibrant member of the National Assembly and has maintained these sterling qualities which he has always placed above party and self, but for the sustenance of our democracy.
Senator Dino is being unlawfully detained in the Police custody over a mere allegation of suspected or perceived thugs shooting and injuring a Police officer.
Can anyone be vicariously liable for an offence allegedly committed by persons being suspected or perceived to be his thugs, when they are not even known to him under the Nigerian law?
Senator Dino Melaye has severally denied having any thug or thugs, and if any body or group actually assaulted any Police officer in the presence of the Senator, as being alleged, it is the duty of the Police to launch a total manhunt on such alleged thugs, and not Senator Dino, whom no clear evidence has linked to any thug.
The continuous detention of Senator Melaye is against the spirit of natural justice, denying him access to good medicare to attend to his deteriorating health is a violation of our constitution, while denying the candidate of a political party freedom of movement to campaign for his or her election is rigging and a rape of our democracy.
The presumption of innocence is a constitutional right of every person as provided in Section 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which states that “Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction”. The Administration of Criminal Justice Act also holds this law sacrosanct. Denying Senator Dino Melaye access to medicare or granting him bail to attend to his health is a fundamental breach of his freedom to life, freedom of movement and a blatant disrespect for the Constitution of Nigeria which holds all Nigerians together.
The position of the law as it pertains to arrest and detention, irrespective of the offence committed is that, the Police has the right to detain an individual for up to 24hours before being charged with a crime or get the person released, while the person can be held back for a maximum of 96hours if he is being suspected of a serious crime, e. g murder, but in this case, he is not being suspected directly or indirectly for murder, but for a mere allegation, and this can be considered a witch-hurt and decor to prevent him from being re-elected as the Kogi West People have vowed to re-elect Dino Melaye whether dead or alive.
The Nigerian society is rife with the believe that the Inspector General of Police is acting out a prepared script by the Presidency and the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to detain him in Police custody in order to prevent him from carrying out his campaigns ahead of the forthcoming elections, thereby denying him of his franchise. This act is against the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, particularly, Article 25, which recognises that every citizen has the right “to vote and be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors…”
In the light of the above I urge Mr. President to show respect for the Constitution and Laws of the Federation of Nigerian and direct the Inspector General of Police to release Senator Dino Melaye from Police custody to enable him attend to his deteriorating health condition and subsequently campaign for his re-election ahead of the forthcoming elections.
Dr. Blessing Agbomhere
PDP House of Representatives Candidate
Etsako-Edo Federal Constituency