INEC Recall: Dino Melaye Fights Back, Heads To Supreme Court

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Sen. Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West in the Senate, has filed an appeal at the Supreme Court, seeking an order restraining the INEC from proceeding with his recall from the Senate. Melaye’s appeal is sequel to a judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal on March 16, which gave INEC the go ahead to continue with the recall.

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In a notice of appeal filed by his Counsel, Mr Mike Ozekome, (SAN), Melaye wanted an order of perpetual injunction restraining INEC from commencing or further continuing with his recall or acting on the purported petition.

Melaye also asked the apex court to set aside the March 16 judgment of the Court of Appeal. He further sought an order declaring the petition purportedly presented to INEC by some purported constituents for his recall as illegal, unlawful, wrongful, unconstitutional, invalid, null and void and of no effect.

Melaye, in addition prayed for a declaration that the recall purportedly initiated against him by INEC and on the basis of the petition was illegal since it commenced on the basis of an invalid petition. In addition, Melaye asked the apex court to declare that the 90 days period as provided for under Section 69(b) of the 1999 Constitution as amended had elapsed.

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According to him, having elapsed, INEC can no longer proceed on the basis of the purported petition. He said the Court of Appeal erred in law ‎when it held that it was not for the court to verify the signature on the petition.

He said the court held that it was the duty of INEC, by reason of which the court failed to invalidate the petition presented to INEC. It would be recalled that the appellate court had in its judgment delivered by Justice Tunde Awotoye, leading two other justices, dismissed all the grounds of appeal filed by Melaye.

The appellate court held that the 90 days stipulated by the constitution within which a recall process would take place had no time limitation as it could be extended. Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had on Sept. 11, 2017 dismissed a suit filed by Melaye, seeking to stop INEC from initiating his recall from the National Assembly.

Dimgba held that Melaye’s complaints were hasty, premature and presumptuous and therefore ordered the INEC to go ahead with its planned verification.

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