The arraignment of Senator Dino Melaye in a stretcher on Wednesday and in Lokoja on Thursday is unacceptable in a civilized society, human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has said.
Melaye was arraigned at an Abuja court on Wednesday, where he was re-arrested for re-arraignment on Thursday at a Kogi court on allegations bordering on gunrunning. He eventually lost his appeal for bail and will therefore spend up to five weeks in Police custody.
All this happened despite Melaye arriving court in a stretcher, following injuries he sustained while jumping out of a moving vehicle when the Police initially arrested him in April — a situation Falana is unhappy with.
“It is particularly degrading and humiliating as it violates the fundamental right to the dignity of his person guaranteed by Section 34 of the Constitution and Section 7 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015,” the lawyer said.
“Even though the senator has my sympathy it is indistinguishable that he has only been given a little dose of the humiliating treatment that is daily meted out to the flotsam and jetsam of our unjust society by the Nigeria Police Force and other law enforcement agencies in Nigeria.
“Therefore, the senator's case should not be treated in isolation by the Senate and the bourgeois media. While the solidarity of the federal legislators with Senator Melaye is understandable the tragic turn of events calls for sober reflection.
“Apart from joining the call for the immediate release of Sheik Ibraheem El Zakzaky and Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd) in line with the valid and subsisting orders of competent courts the National Assembly is called upon to take advantage of Senator Melaye's case to adopt and domesticate the United Nations Minimum Standard for the Treatment of Criminal Suspects in Nigeria without any delay.