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Court suspends recall process of Senator Dino Melaye

Court suspends Senator Dino Melaye’s recall processThe recall process of Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West has been suspended by Justice John Tsoho of the Abuja Federal High Court Thursday.

Justice John Tsoho directed 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.

Justice John Tsoho in an ex-parte ruling rejected the embattled Senator’s motion for a temporary injunction restraining INEC from proceeding with the recall process until the determination of suit challenging his recall.

Justice Tsoho however ruled that the parties “maintain status quo pending the hearing of the motion on notice” and adjourned the case till September 29 for hearing of the motion on notice as well as for the applications filed by three individuals, led by Chief Cornelius Olowo, who equally applied to be made parties in the suit. Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) argued Melaye’s ex-parte motion.

Recall that Melaye, determined to save his seat, had dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, seeking an order stopping the ongoing process by his constituents to recall him.

In the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/587/2017, with INEC as the only defendant, Melaye faulted the recall process, saying it was tainted with political malice and initiated by his political enemies.

In the originating Summons he filed through his lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, the embattled lawmaker prayed the court to declare that the petition presented to INEC for his recall was illegal, unlawful, wrongful, unconstitutional, invalid, null and void and of no effect in law.

He also prayed the court for a declaration that the petition purportedly forwarded to the INEC was invalid and of no effect, the same being signed by fictitious, dead and none existing persons in his senatorial district, as well as for an order of injunction restraining INEC from commencing or further continuing or completing the process of his recall.

Recall also that Senator Dino Melaye had run to his colleagues at the Senate to present his ordeals from which the Senate told INEC that it is wasting its time trying to recall Senator Melaye.

Describing the recall moves of Melaye as an exercise in futility that would become a waste of time and resources of the state, the Senate said INEC is aware of relevant sections of the constitution which the cumbersome process of recall must follow.

It had also noted that the various stages passed so far in the move, as facilitated by the electoral umpire, were not in line with laid down constitutional procedures and guidelines. Resolutions of the Senate were sequel to a point of order raised against the recall move by Senator Dino Melaye himself.

Recall also that some electorates in Kogi state had gathered 188,588 signatures out of the 360,098 registered voters in Kogi West representing 52% percent and taken same in ‘Ghana-must-go’bags to INEC, demanding that the electoral body continue with the processes towards recalling the senator.

INEC too had confirmed receiving the signatories and billed a date to commence with the process.

Senator Melaye had, however, said he discovered many signatures of dead men, including those of late prominent politicians in the state, maintaining that the signatures were forged or were inputed without the consent and knowledge of the owners. (Vanguard)

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