Published On: Thu, Jul 20th, 2017

Dino Melaye Recall: INEC Moves To Vacate Restraining Order

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By Sadiq Umar – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday asked the Federal High Court, Abuja to set aside the restraining order which put on hold the recall of the Kogi West in Senator, Dino Melaye.A Federal High Court presided over by Justice John Tsoho had on July 6 granted a restraining order halting the recall process and subsequently adjourned the matter till September 29.

But INEC, in a motion on notice brought before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba prayed the court to set aside the order for maintenance of status quo in the case.

In the motion filed by Mr. Sulayman Olawole Ibrahim, the electoral body claimed that the order for the status quo has hindered it from proceeding with the recall process of the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial district in the Senate.

In a 16 paragraph affidavit in support of the motion on notice, INEC claimed that the order made by Justice Tsoho is against the time bound duty of INEC as enshrined under Section 69 of the 1999 constitution.

The affidavit claimed that Dino Melaye misrepresented and suppressed material facts that misled the judge to grant the order of interim injunction.

INEC claimed that a petition dated June 19 was received by it on June 21 seeking the recall of Melaye and that consequence upon the receipt of the petition, it has published time table and schedule of activities for the recall process.

The electoral body averred that since the ex-parte order was served on it on July 10, it has hindered it from taking any further action in respect of the recall petition.

Specifically, the electoral body claimed that it has 90 days starting from June 21 to conduct referendum in line with the approved time table and schedule of action.

The electoral body also claimed that the recall process is time bound and that the 90 day period for the exercise will lapse on September 18.

Beside, INEC also stated that the last day for submission of applications by interested observers, names of verification agents for the senator sought to be recalled and those of the petitioners have already been slated for July 31, August 10,15 and 19 and that Melaye will not be prejudiced if the interim order is vacated.

In another motion filed also by INEC, it prayed for an order for accelerated hearing of substantive suit and all order processes relating to the recall petition and that it should be heard during the court vacation.

When the matter came up yesterday, counsel to the INEC Mr. Sulayman Ibrahim told the court that he had filed three different motions praying for different orders and that he had served same on the applicant.

However, counsel to Melaye Mr. Nkem Okoro from Chief Mike Ozekhome chamber admitted receiving the three motions.

He however said the motions were served on him on Tuesday and that he needed seven days as required by law to respond to the three motions. Justice Nnamdi Dimgba agreed with him and adjourned hearing till July 27.

It would be recalled that a group of people from Kogi West had brought a petition to INEC in June seeking recall of their representative in the senate, Senator Dino Melaye.

The group claimed that it had obtained signatures of over 188,000 voters in support of the recall bid.



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