Constitutional Lawyer and Human Right Activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome on Monday stated that forcing any Nigerian irrespective of status to appear before a court for trial when such a person is not physically fine, contravenes Sections 32, 35 and 36 of the 1999 constitution and section 8 of the administration of criminal justice act 2015.
Ozekhome added that chaining a defendant to the bed or forcing him to a court on a stretcher is bestial, animalistic, savagery, anachronistic and tortuous”.
Condemning the Police action of insisting on taking Senator Dino Melaye, the Senator representing Kogi West senatorial district to court on allegation of buying arms for thugs to cause violence in Kogi state, Ozekhome said in a statement that such a treatment being meted to the legislator is ‘wrong, inhuman and degrading’.
He said, “It must be deprecated. We are not in a zoo or animal kingdom”.
“On no account should any Nigerian, no matter his station in life, whether Aristocrat or plebian, poor or rich, Senator or labourer, be tried in a court of law while on a stretcher”.
To “stand trial”, means exactly what it says. The defendant must be well healthy and strong enough to “stand” for trial, not to “sit down”, or “lie down” (on a stretcher), for trial.
“A trial is not punishment or torture, or an instrument of oppression and repression.
“It is simply a honest attempt to seek the truth based on facts and then apply the law to meet the ends of justice.
“Chaining a defendant to the bed, or forcing him to a court on a stretcher is bestial, animalistic, savagery, anachronistic and tortuous”.
“It contravenes sections 32, 35 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution and section 8 of the Administration of Criminal justice Act, 2015.”
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