INEC to take decision on Dino’s case in few days



The recall process of the Senator representing Kogi West senatorial district, Mr. Dino Melaye will be part of the discussions on Thursday, when the management of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) meet to deliberate, it was learnt.

INEC management meets every Thursday to deliberate and take decisions on issues that bothers on the activities of the commission.

The commission may likely release a revised timetable and schedule of activities in the next few days following the removal of hurdles.

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had on Friday dismissed the appeal by the senator to halt his recall, thereby removing any encumbrance to the process.

INEC had earlier issued time lag for the process following a petition calling for his recall by before the legal battle which started from the High court.

While resolving all issues for determination against Melaye, the Appeal Court upheld the lower court ruling that the senator’s suit was “hasty and premature and presumptuous”.

The Appeal Court therefore stated that the lower court ought to have struck out the suit for not disclosing any cause of action. On Melaye’s contention that he was not accorded fair hearing by INEC, the Court of Appeal noted that such position was without basis because INEC is neither a tribunal nor a court of law.

The Appeal court also noted that the 90 days required for the recall process has not lapsed in the Melaye case. It stated that the 90-day period was not static.

Speaking on the next line of action of the Commission, the Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi said that the Appeal Court judgment has removed any encumbrances.

Oyekanmi noted that the commission will be taking decision on the matter soon as to when to continue the recall process.

He posited that the Appeal Court’s judgment has therefore given the commission the go ahead with the recall process.

He said: “As it is now, the Appeal Court has now removed any restriction. That means literally, INEC can continue with that process. The process now will have to start from where it stopped and that is the decision for the commission to make in the coming days.

“I don’t know how soon the commission will take decision but I know it is going to be pretty soon. You know every week; the commission meets every Thursday to take a decision. And of course once a decision is taking there will be an official announcement. As it is, the Appeal Court has removed any encumbrances against our moves. That is what the situation is, that we can go ahead with our process.”

The embattled senator had earlier lost the fight to stop INEC from commencing the recall process at the High Court, thus paving way for the electoral body to continue the process.

The people of Kogi West Senatorial District has made good their threat to recall Mr. Melaye on Wednesday when they submitted signatures of about 188,588 voters from electorates in Kogi West senatorial district demanding the recall of the senator.

The signatories is about 52.3 per cent of the registered voters in the district.

The law requires 50 per cent of voters in an area sign to recall a lawmaker.

The signed documents,  it was learnt were contained in six bags alongside other documents and were submitted to INEC’s headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday.

The local governments and the percentage of voters who signed the recall petition showed that Yagba West had the highest number of voters asking Melaye to return home from the Senate.

The breakdown, as shown in the petition is Yagba West, 55.7 percent; Lokoja, 54.8 per cent ; Kogi, 52.77 per cent; Yagba East, 52 per cent; Ijumu (Melaye’s local government), 51.8 per cent; Mopa/Moro, 50.4 per cent  and Kabba/ Bunu, 46.7 per cent.

A prominent member of the All Progressives Congress in Ijumu, Mr. Cornelius Olowo, who led the delegation, insisted that the constituents were not satisfied with the quality of Melaye’s representation.

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