Published On: Mon, Sep 11th, 2017

Proceed With Dino Melaye’s Recall, Court Tells INEC

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By Nuel Suji – A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday dismissed a suit filed by embattled Kogi Senator, Dino Melaye, which seeks to halt his recall.

Mr. Melaye had filed the suit to abort an on-going recall process by his Kogi West Constituents, claiming that the recall was sponsored, false and hastened.

A Federal High Court presided over by Justice John Tsoho had earlier on July 6, 2017, in an ex parte order, directed parties in the case to maintain status quo.

However, the court on Monday dismissed the suit in a judgement by Justice Nnamdo Dimgba describing the ex parte order as “hasty, premature and presumptuous”

Justice Dimgba ruled that the “Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) shall proceed with the recall subject to the service of the petition, the full list and signatures of persons in support of the recall process.”

The judge noted that the 90 days period within which the Constitution ordered the INEC to conduct a referendum on receiving the recall petition had been paused since June 23, when Melaye commenced the suit.

The court further directed INEC to avail Mr. Melaye a copy of the recall timetable, petition and the accompanying documents, to the lawmaker giving him a duration of 2 weeks to defend his recall process.

The judge averred that there is no provision in section 69 of the Constitution requiring his constituents to afford him fair hearing before sending such petition to INEC.

“He must first go into the verification exercise and only when he does not get justice that he can come to court,” Justice Dimgba noted.

The judge also dismissed the argument that the number of signatures ‎did not meet the threshold stipulated in the Constitution.

He observed that going by statistical analysis accompanying the suit, the number of signatures to kick start the recall process in the Kogi West senatorial district was 188, 588 out of the 360,100 ‎registered voters in the district, had been met.

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