By Oladipupo Mojeed
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is seeking an injunction from the Federal High Court, Abuja, to set aside an earlier order asking it to suspend the recall of Sen. Dino Melaye (APC-Kogi West).
INEC had commenced Melaye’s recall following the receipt of a petition from members of his constituency demanding for it.
But the Senator got an order from the court to stop the electoral umpire from going ahead with the process, pending the determination of a suit he filed challenging his recall.
Melaye had in the suit alleged irregularities and fraud in the petition.
In the application which was argued by his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), he submitted that the signatories in the petition were fake, fictitious and concocted.
He added that some of the signatures were of dead members of his constituency.
Justice John Tsoho, therefore, ordered parties to maintain status quo, pending the determination of the matter adjourned till Sept. 29.
INEC, however, applied that the matter be heard before a vacation judge.
When the matter came up on Thursday, counsel to INEC, Sulayman Ibrahim, informed the court of an application seeking to set aside the ex-parte order made by the court on July 6.
He also informed the court of another application, seeking accelerated hearing of the matter during vacation.
In the application seeking the vacation of the ex-parte order, the electoral body argued that the order violated its right to fair hearing as enshrined in Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution.
The commission further argued that the order was against its time-bound constitutional duty, which is the time frame stipulated by law to carry out a recall.
The vacation judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, adjourned the matter until July 27 for hearing.