INEC Asks Court to Discharge Order Stopping Melaye’s Recall

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By Tobi Soniyi

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to discharge its order which directed the commission to maintain the status quo on the recall process of the senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye.

INEC asked the court to set aside the order and to grant an order of accelerated hearing of the case filed by Melaye. 

The commission pledged its readiness to ensure that the case is determined speedily to enable it continue with the process for recalling the senator which it started before Melaye went to court.

 Justice John Tsoho had on July 6 refused Melaye’s ex-parte application to stop INEC from going ahead with the recall. However, he issued an order to maintain the status quo which became a subject of different interpretation.

After the order was served on INEC, it stopped the recall process but mandated its legal department to get the court to discharge the order.

Melaye went to court after he received a notice from INEC that the commission would commence the process to recall him on July 3.

The commission sent Melaye the notice after it received a formal petition from aggrieved electorate from the senatorial district signifying their intention to recall Melaye.

A statement signed by the National Commissioner and Member, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mallam Mohammed Haruna, INEC said having received the petition and the signatures of the electorate, the next step was to verify that the petitioners were registered voters in the Kogi West senatorial district.

The statement read: “INEC held its regular weekly meeting today and considered the petition submitted by some registered voters from Kogi West senatorial district to kick-start the process of recalling Melaye.

 “In accordance with the INEC guidelines for the recall of members of the National Assembly, the commission has formally acknowledged the receipt of the petition to the petitioners’ representatives and has conveyed a letter notifying Melaye of our receipt of the petition.  

 “The next step is to verify that the petitioners are registered voters in the Kogi West senatorial district.”