A FEDERAL High Court in Abuja on Monday, September 11, dismissed the application by Dino Melaye, a senator from Kogi State, challenging moves by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to effect his recall.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, who presided over the case, ruled that all the complaints made by Melaye lacked merit and deserved to be dismissed.
On the complain of lack of fair hearing by the constituents before forwarding the recall petition to the INEC, the judge said it lacked merit and dismissed it.
In his ruling, Dimgba said that the recall process was a political question, which was beyond the court to deal with.
Besides, he said the constituents had no duty to serve the legislator a copy of the recall petition.
According to the judge, Melaye had the opportunity to campaign to the electorate before the referendum to sell his achievements to them in accordance with the 90 days time table and schedule of activities set by the INEC as set out in Section 69 of the Constitution.
“The electorate voted the legislator into office; they gifted him with the office, they also have the powers to take away that which have been given,” Dimgba said.
The judge dismissed Melaye’s claim that the petition emanated from malice, bad faith, vendetta and against the natural justice.
He also dismissed the senator’s assertion that the 188, 000 signatories to the petition contained those of ‘non-existent, dead and forged,’ pointing out that the complain was hasty since the senator had not exhausted the INEC verification process for the signatories.
The judge described Melaye’s complaint that officials of the electoral umpire ought to swear to an oath of neutrality as “premature” since it was not certain that a recall election would hold.
That notwithstanding, the judge ordered the INEC to serve Melaye the recall petition, schedule of signatures attached to the recall petition and full list of all persons in support of the recall process as contained in jute bags before the verification exercise.
– Sept 11, 2017 @ 12:50 GMT