Court strikes out falsehood charge against Dino Melaye

Dino Melaye

An FCT High Court in Maitama on Tuesday discharged Senator Dino Melaye who was accused of providing false information to the police.

Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) had instituted the two-count charge of giving false information to the police.

Melaye was alleged to have in April 2017 deliberately given false information to police to incriminate David Onoja, who was at the time chief of staff to Kogi State governor, as masterminding an assassination attempt on him.

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

Justice Olasumbo Goodluck, delivering a ruling in a no-case submission filed by Melaye, held that on count one, there is no evidence that the defendant gave false information to any person in public service.

The judge also described the evidence given by first prosecution witness as “vague”.

The judge said: “Neither of the two witnesses elicited evidence on the status of Mohammed Abubakar Audu.

“Hence, there is lack of evidence on the nature of the status of employment or if at all he is employed not to talk of him being engaged in public service.

“I am also inclined to allude to the submissions of the defence counsel that there is no statement before the court allegedly made by the defendant to one who is in the public service.

“This being the case, the first ingredients of the offence upon which count one is predicated has not been proved to the court.

“Similarly, the second element of the count has not been proven by the prosecution.”

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

She further held that no staff of Sahara Reporters, an online news platform, which allegedly released the audio conversation, was called to testify.

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