Melaye Asks Supreme Court to Declare His Recall Process Illegal


Alex Enumah in Abuja

The embattled Kogi West senator, Dino Melaye, has asked the Supreme Court to declare as illegal and unlawful, the process of his recall from the Senate already being initiated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Melaye in a notice of appeal dated April 3, 2018 and filed by his counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), wants the apex court to equally set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered on March 16, 2018, which dismissed his appeal against the recall for lacking in merit.

The notice of appeal which is predicated on seven grounds, is seeking a declare action that the statutory 90 days period provided for in section 69(b) of the 1999 Constitution, having elapsed with effluxion of time on September 23, 2017, INEC can no longer validly proceed on the basis of the purported petition for his recall, presented on June 23, 2017.

He further prayed for an order of perpetual injunction restraining INEC from commencing or further continuing with the process of acting on the purported petition presented to it by his constituents.

Some of the grounds upon which the appeal was anchored challenged the entire decision of the Court of Appeal.

The first grounds of appeal claimed that the appellate court erred in law when it held that “an unchallenged finding of fact stands’, the basis of which the court held that it lacked the jurisdiction to entertain his appeal, for the alleged failure to appeal against a specific finding of fact at the trial court.

Another grounds is that the Court of Appeal erred in law when it held that “it is not for the court to verify the signature on the petition. It is the duty of INEC”, saying that the court failed to invalidate the petition presented to INEC.

The Court of Appeal had on March 16, 2018, dismissed Melaye’s appeal for lacking in merit as it disclosed no cause of action.

In a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Tunde Awotoye, the appellate court resolved all the issues contained in the appeal in favour of the INEC.

The Court of Appeal had in its judgment affirmed the decision of Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court, who held that Melaye’s suit was “hasty, premature and presumptuous.”

Melaye, not satisfied with the judgment of Justice Dimgba approached the Court of Appeal to set it aside and stop the electoral body from embarking on the recall process.