INEC Beg Court To Set Aside Order On Melaye’s Recall High Court sitting in Abuja on the Dino Melaye’s recall case and this time Inec has begged the Court to set aside an earlier order of the court, suspending the recall of Sen. Dino Melaye (APC-Kogi).
Following the petition received from members of Melaye’s constituency demanding he be recalled, INEC has again swung to action. Melaye has initially filed a suit seeking that INEC stops the process till the verdict of a suit he filed challenging is recall surfaces.
Melaye approached the court, seeking an order stopping INEC from going ahead with the process, pending the determination of a suit he filed challenging his recall. In the suit, Melaye had alleged irregularities and fraud in the petition.
Arguing his case in the suit he filed, Melaye’s lawyer, Mr. Mike Ozekhome (SAN), submitted that the signatories in the petition were fake. He also pressed that the signatories were that of some dead members of his constituency.
In his ruling, victory fell on a balance as Justice John Tsoho, ordered parties to maintain status quo, pending the determination of the matter. Tsoho further adjourned the suit for further hearing until 29 Sept.
However, INEC requested that the matter is heard before a vacation judge.
Following another sitting on Thursday, counsel to INEC, Mr. Sulayman Ibrahim, informed the court of an application seeking to set aside the ex-parte order made by the court on July 6, to maintain the state of affairs.
In an application seeking the vacation of the ex-parte order, the electoral body argued that the order violated its right to fair hearing as enshrined in Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution. Ibrahim further stressed that the order was against its constitutional duty which is time-bound.
In an affidavit deposed to by one Paave Demenongo, the commission claimed that it was not heard before the ex-parte order was made. It also claimed that since it received the order on July 10, it had been unable to take action on the recall process, not minding the fact that time was of the essence in carrying out its duties.
“The defendant has 90 days from June 21 to conduct a referendum in line with the approved time table and schedule of activities for the recall of the senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District.
“The period of 90 days will elapse on Sept. 18.”
According to the affidavit, Melaye would not be prejudiced if the application to vacate the ex-parte order was granted, as it is enshrined in the law to grant it.
On the application seeking accelerated hearing, INEC said it was predicated on the grounds that it was its constitutional duty as provided by Section 69 of the 1999 Constitution. It further stated that the time was of the essence in the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
However, the counsel to Melaye, Mr. Nkem Okoro, opposed both applications, arguing that he was served on July 18, less than two days before the hearing. He further stated according to the law that he needed seven days within which he can respond to both applications. Okoro then seeks that the court grants him enough time to enable him to reply well.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, the vacation judge then adjourned the matter until July 27 for further hearing.