Thursday, 6 July 2017

Court halts Melaye's recall process till Sept 29

A Federal High Court in Abuja, presided over by Justice John Tsoho, Thursday, aborted plans by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to commence process for recall of Senator Dino Melaye on July 10, directing all the parties to maintain their status quo until September 29 when the court will hear the suit challenging bid by Melaye's constituents to recall him from the Senate.
This followed an ex-parte motion Melaye lodged before the court through his lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN.
Justice Tsoho stressed that INEC should put the process on hold until the substantive suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/567/2017, which Melaye filed pursuant to sections 36,68 and 69 of the 1999 Constitution and Order 3, Rule 6 of the FHC Civil Procedure Rules 2009, is disposed off.
Senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West Senatorial District, had in the suit, prayed the court to declare that the petition his constituents presented to INEC for his recall was illegal, unlawful, wrongful, unconstitutional, invalid, null and void and of no effect in law.
He prayed the court for a declaration that the petition purportedly forwarded to the INEC was invalid and of no effect, alleging that it was signed by fictitious, dead and none existing persons in his senatorial district.

The embattled lawmaker further applied for an order of injunction restraining INEC from commencing or further continuing or completing the process of his recall.
He prayed the court to make an order stopping INEC from acting on the petition submitted to it. 
Besides, the plaintiff begged the high court to stop the electoral body from conducting any referendum predicated on the fictitious petition allegedly submitted to it by his purported constituents on the basis of the fundamentally and legally flawed petition.
He specifically urged the court to determine whether by provisions of Sections 68 and 69 of the Constitution, he is entitled to a fair hearing before the process of his recall as envisaged by the provisions of Section 69 of the Constitution can be triggered.
To determine whether the petition presented to the defendant is in compliance with the requirements of the constitution, same being heavily tainted with political malice, bad motive, personal vendetta and bad faith, which were initiated by top politicians in Kogi State, who wield enormous power over his Senatorial constituency.

Likewise, to determine whether the process of recall as provided for in Section 69 of the constitution ‎can be initiated against him when the number of registered and qualified voters in the constituency who purportedly signed the petition is grossly less than the number required in Section 69(a) of the constitution.

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