The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is determined to continue with the recall process of Senator Dino Melaye, even as the lawmaker has yet to be discharged from the hospital.
According to a schedule released by the electoral empire in March, the verification exercise of the people from Kogi West Senatorial District who signed to recall Melaye would take place today, Saturday, April 28, 2018.
Thousands of voters from the senator’s constituency had petitioned INEC in 2017 to demand for his recall, but the move had suffered a setback as a result of conflicting orders of the court.
Following series of legal tussles between the lawmaker and the electoral body, the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal cleared the coast for INEC on March 16, 2018, to continue with the recall process.
In the lead judgement read by Justice Tunde Awotoye, who led two other justices of the Appellate Court, the court held that the 90 days stipulated by the Constitution within which a recall process could take place “has no time limitation”.
In a unanimous decision, the court also dismissed the appeal filed by Senator Melaye against the judgment delivered by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court in 2017, on grounds that there was no cause of action.
Hours after the ruling was delivered, the lawmaker told Channels Television that he was finalising the process of appealing the judgment at the Supreme Court.
He noted that he would not be intimidated by the Appellate Court ruling and that he would continue to fight for the course of justice in Kogi State and the nation in general.
INEC, on its part, said it would get in touch with Senator Melaye and ask him to give it an agent after which it would conduct a verification exercise for the signatories to the recall petition.
(File) INEC’s Director, Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Osaze-Uzzi, speaks about Melaye’s recall process during an interview on Politics Today.
On April 5, the lawmaker filed approached the Supreme Court, seeking an order restraining the electoral commission from proceeding with his recall from the Senate.
In a notice of appeal filed by Mr Mike Ozekome, he sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining INEC from commencing or further continuing with his recall process or acting on the purported petition presented to the electoral body by some of his purported constituents.
Melaye also asked the Supreme Court to set aside the judgement of the Court of Appeal which ordered INEC to commence with the recall process.
While the apex court has yet to rule on the matter, INEC has proceeded with the process with the meeting of stakeholders which held on Wednesday in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.
Meanwhile, Senator Melaye had been engulfed in a series of controversy recently, including his arrest by officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service on Monday.
He was also being interrogated by the police for his alleged involvement in the supply of arms to some political thugs arrested in Kogi State in January.
Dino, however, landed in a hospital in Abuja after he reportedly jumped out of a moving police vehicle.
The vehicle was said to be conveying him to Lokoja where he was expected to be further interrogated about the allegation and his alleged involvement in other criminal activities.