Wednesday, June 16, 2021

False information: Again, Melaye’s trial stalled


Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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Failure of the prosecution to provide witness statement on Tuesday in Abuja in an FCT High Court stalled the trial of trial of Dino Melaye, who is charged with alleged false information.

Mr Maleye, representing Kogi West in the Senate, is being tried on two counts of alleged false information, an offence he has denied.

At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, Mr Melaye’s counsel, Olusegun Jolaawo, objected to a prosecution’s witness, Mr Edward Onoja, taking the stand to testify in the case.

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He accused the prosecutor, Chika Nnanna, of refusing to serve him with the witness statement as required by law.

Mr Jolaawo told the court that the prosecution did not serve him with the witness statement and argued that the prosecution did not comply with the provisions of Section 379 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 .

Mr Jolaawo also argued that the section provides that the defence counsel should be provided with all necessary materials related to case on trial by the prosecuting counsel to enable him adequately prepare his defnce.

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He said the court was not a court of record and that the proper procedure was for the prosecuting counsel to have filed an additional proof of evidence with proof of service on all parties, the court and the defendant.

Ms Nnanna however, regretted the omission and apologised to court..

“It was not intentional to keep away relevant document from the defence” she apologised.

She requested an adjournment to enable her properly file the necessary document.

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The Judge, Justice Olasumbo Goodluck, who ordered the prosecution to do the needful, adjourned the case until Dec. 5 and Dec. 13 for definite hearing.

“In the interim, the prosecution is expected to do the needful;

“The matter is adjourned until Dec. 5 and Dec. 13 for definite hearing in the expectation that the prosecution files their additional witness statement before the next adjourned date” he ruled.


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