BREAKING: COURT DISMISSES MELAYE’S SUIT, ASKS INEC TO CONTINUE RECALL PROCESS

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A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday dismissed the suit by Kogi West Senator, Dino Melaye, challenging the validity of the process of recalling him by his constituents. Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, in his judgment, ordered that the Independent National Electoral Commission “shall proceed with the recall process”. The judgment effectively terminated the earlier ex parte order made by another judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice John Tsoho, on July 6, 2017, directing parties to maintain status quo.

But the Justice Dimgba, to whom the case was reassigned, ordered that the process shall only proceed with the recall process, 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. He ordered that the period would only continue running from Monday.
But he ordered INRC to issue an amended recall timetable giving the senator a minimum of two weeks to equip him to defend against the recall process. He ordered that the amended timetable should be served on Melaye.

In his judgment, Justice Dimgba held that contrary to Melaye’s contention, there was no provision in section 69 of the Constitution requiring his constituents to afford him fair hearing before sending such petition to INEC.