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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

#BringBackOurGirls Protest: Police Arrest Dino Melaye

Executive Secretary of Anti-Corruption Network and former member of the House of Representatives, Dino Melaye, was yesterday in Abuja quizzed by officers of the Nigeria Police over his lead role in the protest for the release of over 200 girls abducted in Chibok, Borno State.
The letter of invitation from the office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, with Ref. No. CR/3000/FIB/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.T/137 and dated June 20, 2014, directed Melaye to appear before the police “to discuss crucial issues of security concern.”
The letter signed by Steve Okoshone, an Assistant Commissioner of Police on behalf of the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB), read in part: “The Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB), Force CID Complex, behind Federal Fire Service, Area 10 in Garki, Abuja, invites you to a meeting with him on Monday, June 23, 2014 at 1200 hrs prompt to discuss crucial issues of security concern. Your response will be highly appreciated.”
Prior to his appearance, Melaye had told journalists that the struggle to liberate the masses from the clutches of political vampires was a battle of “no retreat, no surrender.”
He said: “We must do everything to rescue this country from the hands of these economic cankerworms. There is intimidation, incessant arrests, threats and assassination attempts on my life. But for me, I am resolute because the battle to deliver this country from economic cankerworms, financial vultures and inept leadership, as I have repeatedly said, is a battle of no retreat, no surrender.
“In an unjust society, silence is a crime; this is the time in the history of Nigeria where silence is no longer golden. People must come out and speak because the day you stop eating is the day you start dying. Where dictatorship becomes legalised, revolution becomes a right.”
Melaye recently went to a High Court in Gudu, Abuja for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights, challenging the May 9 disruption of the protest he led in respect of the abducted female students of Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents.
Justice Abubakar Talba had held that the Nigeria Police lacked the powers to prevent or stop rallies being held in respect of the abducted female students.
He declared that the Public Order Act, Cap 382 Laws of Nigeria 1990, which the police purportedly relied on, did not authorise men of the force to disrupt rallies or procession on the issue of the abducted Chibok girls.
The judge declared as unconstitutional the arrest and assault on Melaye by men of the Nigeria Police during the May 9 rally in Abuja.
The suit marked: CV/1521/14 which had the IGP and Commissioner of Police, FCT Command, Mr. Joseph Mbu, was not defended by the respondents.
Justice Talba had said: “The arrest of the applicant and threat to further arrest him in respect of rallies or procession is unlawful. The disruption of peaceful rallies and procession by agents of the 1st and 2nd respondents is illegal and unconstitutional.”
The judge held that the fact that respondents failed to file any counter process to the one filed by Melaye was an admission of the allegations made against them by the applicant.
He consequently ordered the IGP and CP, FCT to “tender a written apology to the applicant as provided for under Section 35(6) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
The judge had also granted an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents and their agents from further “harassing, molesting, intimidating, abducting, arresting, detaining and prosecuting the applicant in respect of peaceful rallies or procession in Abuja or any part of Nigeria.”
Justice Talba awarded, N150,000 in damages and cost against the respondents and in favour of the applicant

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