Melaye’s Recall: Court Refuses to Stop INEC


• Kogi APC leaders pass vote-of-confidence on senator

By Damilola Oyedele and  Alex Enumah in Abuja 

Embattled senator, Dino Melaye, yesteday failed yesterday in his bid to stop his ongoing recall process by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Justice John Tsoho, in a ruling on the ex-parte, rejected Melaye’s motion for a temporary injunction restraining INEC from proceeding with the recall process until the determination of his (Melaye’s suit) challenging his recall.

Instead, the judge ordered parties in the case to maintain status quo pending the hearing of the motion on notice.

Mike Ozekhome (SAN) argued Melaye’s ex-parte motion yesterday.

The judge adjourned to September 29 for hearing of Melaye’s motion on notice and applications filed by three individuals, led by Chief Cornelius Olowo, who applied to be made parties in they suit.

They said they were necessary parties and would be affected by the case’s outcome, hence the need for them to be heard before the court pronounce on the case.

In the main suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/587/2017, with INEC as the only defendant, Melaye, representing Kogi West senatorial, faulted the process to recall him, arguing that it was tainted by political malice and initiated by his political enemies.

He denied any wrongdoing and claimed that he was being targeted for standing up for the oppressed in Kogi State and the many workers who have not been paid their salaries by the state government.

The senator is praying the court to declare the petition submitted to the Chaiman NEC, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, as “illegal, unlawful, wrongful, unconstitutional, invalid, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.”

He also wants the court to void the recall process on the grounds that it was commenced in breach of his fundamental right to fair hearing.

Stalwarts of the Kogi State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have passed a vote-of-confident on the embattled senator representing Kogi West in the National Assembly, Dino Melaye, and also expressed support for his opposition for the state Governor, Mr. Yahaya Bello.

Melaye is being threatened by a recall from his constituents in a plot allegedly orchestrated by Bello.

The party leaders urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to waste scarce resources on the recall process, which they described as a fraud being perpetuated by the state government, fraught with forgeries and absurdities. 

In a communique issued by the leaders at the end of a meeting on Wednesday evening in Abuja, they lamented that the gains made by the party in the 2015 general election have been eroded by the anti-party activities of the governor.

The leaders noted that the governor’s anti-party activities have led to the loss of two APC senatorial seats, one House of Representatives seat,  and two state House of Assembly seats to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). 

The positions, they noted, were won during the 2015 elections before Bello joined the party and subsequently emerged as governor. 

They further expressed worry at what they described as political bickering and parlous state of affairs in the state, under Bello.

“That the only senatorial seat left for the Kogi State APC family in the Senate is being harassed by Bello and cohorts as evidenced by the on-going charade, known as re-call exercise, which is pregnant with forgeries and absurdities,” the communique read.

The communique obtained by THISDAY yesterday, was signed by Senator Alex Kadir, Senator Mohammed Salami Ohiare, Senator Nicholas Ugbane, Senator Dangana E Ocheja,  Senator Abdulrahman Abubakar, Hon Clarence Olafemi, Hon Abdullahi Bello, Hon. James A Faleke, Hon. Mohammed Idris, Prince Mohammed Audu, Hon. Duro Meseko, Alhaji Abubakar Rajab, Mr. A. Zakari, Chief Michael Ozovehe, Chief Lawrence Gbenga Asagun, Hon. Idris Jimoh,  Engr. S. A. Ezekiel, Dr. Tom Ohikere, Alhaji Sanusi Abubakar and Alhaji Haddy Ametuo . 

It read further: “That we are in total approval of all the steps taken so far by the state executive of the APC in Kogi State led by its Chairman, Alhaji Haddy Ametuo.

“That the state government under Governor Bello is not only in a confused state of affairs, but heading towards political cul-de-sac,”

“That we are concerned that many weeks after the submission of the Chief Tony Momoh’s Reconciliation  Report, the national leadership of our party, APC, is yet   to take any step towards the implementation of its  recommendations,” it read.

“That we are in total support of all the positions canvassed by Melaye in matters of Kogi State.

“That Melaye took up the struggle on behalf the good people of Kogi State. He is not alone and we are with him in this struggle at all times,” 

“That we, the leaders of APC in Kogi State, unequivocally  hereby pass a vote-of-confidence on Melaye representing not only the good people of Kogi West senatorial district, but the overall interest of Kogi State indigenes,” it added.