Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will comply with the court order stopping it from proceeding with the process for the recall of the senator representing Kogi West senatorial district, Dino Melaye.
In a statement issued after its regular weekly meeting on Wednesday, the commission said it had stopped all the processes pending the vacation of the injuction.
In the statement signed by National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Prince Adedeji Soyebi, the commission said it had considered the order given by the Federal High Court, Abuja dated July 6, 2017 directing the â€œparties to maintain the status quo till the determination of the plaintiffâ€™s motion on notice,â€ in respect of the suit filed by Melaye, seeking orders of injunction against the commission, to stop it from acting on the petition by the registered voters of Kogi West senatorial district.
The statement read: â€œAs a responsible, law-abiding institution, INEC will comply with the order. However, the commission has also decided to take immediate steps to vacate the court order and for the matter to be heard and determined expeditiously.
â€œWhereas, the court adjourned hearing of the motion on notice to September 29, 2017, it should be noted that Section 69 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) sets a limit of 90 days from the date of the presentation of the petition (June 21, 2017) for the exercise to be completed.
The commission further decided to draw the attention of the Chief Justice of Nigeria to the order in view of its effect on the performance of the commissionâ€™s constitutional duty to conduct the referendum for the recall in Kogi West Senatorial district.
It said that it also approved a policy of comprehensive audit after all elections.
â€œThis is in line with its commitment of ensuring transparency and overall improvement of the electoral process.â€