Sen Melaye fails to stop recall process in court

Frederick Owens
September 11, 2017

The suit opened by Senator Dino Melaye challenging his recall process, has been dismissed by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Punch reports.

But Nnamdi Dimgba, another judge of the federal high court, Abuja, who is presiding all through the period of the judicial vacation, on Monday, dismissed Melaye's suit, and asked INEC to proceed with the process of his recall.

The judgment effectively terminated the ex parte order made by Justice John Tsoho of the same court, on July 6, directing parties in the matter to maintain status quo.

The judge, however, ordered INEC to furnish Melaye with a copy of the petition it received, a schedule of the signatories and a full list of persons in support of the recall petition.

He said: "He must first go into the verification exercise and only when he does not get justice that he can come to court".

He told the court that INEC had violated the rule of natural justice and fair hearing by not giving him a copy of the petition and other accompanying documents.

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He held that Melaye and his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, failed to exhaust the "domestic remedy" provided by the verification procedure, before they separately approached the court to stop the recall exercise.

He said the constituents have no duty to serve the legislator a copy of the recall petition.

The judge also dismissed claims that the number of signatures were not up to the required amount for recall, as he stated that the requirement had been met.

He said INEC had already scheduled the exercise for the verification of the authenticity of the signatures, and until after that will it be reasonable for Melaye to go to court.

It subsequently submitted a catalog of the signatures appended to a petition to INEC.

The figure represented 52.3 per cent of the total registered voters in the district.

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