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Court Order: INEC Puts on Hold Dino Melaye’s Recall Exercise

By Ganiyu Nasirudeen

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Following a court order to that effect, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the recall process on Senator Dino Melaye which it started a week ago.

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Committee on the Information and Voter Education, Mr. Adedeji Soyebi, in a statement issued in Abuja Thursday however noted that while the commission would obey the court order, it would also make efforts to ensure that an immediate vacation of the order is pronounced.

He said the electoral body’s decision to suspend the process was in line with the INEC’s resolve to be transparent and improve electoral process in Nigeria.

The National Electoral Commissioner disclosed that there was a constitutional provision which set a 90-day period for the order from the date of its presentation for the exercise to be concluded.

Sequel to this, Mr. Soyebi informed that the INEC has called the attention of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Walter Onnoghen to the order, due to its effect on the performance of the commission’s duty – on conduct of the ongoing recall exercise on Melaye.

Controversial Senator Melaye is representing Kogi West Senatorial District. About 180,000 signatures out of over 360,000 registered voters in the district have been allegedly collected and sent with the recall petition to the INEC.  

  1. Soyebi’s statement indicated further:  “The Independent National Electoral Commission held its regular weekly meeting today and considered the order given by the Federal High Court, Abuja dated 6th July 2017 directing the “parties to maintain the status quo till the determination of the plaintiff’s motion on notice,” in respect of the suit filed by Senator Dino 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.

“As 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.

“Whereas, the court adjourned hearing of the Motion on Notice to 29th September 2017, it should be noted that Section 69 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) sets a limit of 90 days from the date of the presentation of the petition (21st June 2017) for the exercise to be completed”.

 

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