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11 Aug 2017

Court Sets September 11 to Determine Senator Melaye's Fate

Senator Dino Melaye will know whether the Independent National Electoral Commission will go ahead with his recall processes in two months time.
Senator Dino Melaye

A Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed September 11 to determine whether the Independent National Electoral Commission can abort or proceed with plans to recall Senator Dino Melaye from the Nigerian Senate.

Melaye who is representing Kogi West, is facing a battle of his life to stop his recall by his constituents. The Independent National Electoral Commission was verifying the signatures on the recall documents when Melaye rushed to the court to stop the process.

Punch reported that Justice Nnamdi Dimgba gave the ruling today, four days after consolidating the two suits challenging the recall. Justice Nnamdi Dimgba allowed the suits filed by Melaye and the All Progressives Congress to be consolidated, to avoid having conflicting judgments since the subject of both suits was similar.

The application to consolidate the APC suit to the one filed by Melaye was brought by counsel for the party, Mr O.D. Atoyebi.

Dimgba said that he was mindful to grant the application which was formerly before Justice John Tsoho, in order to avoid conflicting judgments. He, therefore, directed the APC lawyer to serve all processes on all the parties. Dimgba had earlier granted the application of some interested parties seeking to join the suit as defendants and plaintiff respectively.

Mr. Olowo Cornelius, John Ajorin and Malam Yusuf Adamu (the petitioners) had sought to be joined as co-defendants, while Michael Olowoleyemo, applied to be joined as co-plaintiff.

Ruling on the applications argued by Mr. Anthony Adeniyi for parties seeking to be joined as defendants, the court held that joining the parties was for “effectual and complete” adjudication of the matter.

Justice Dimgba said that it was in the interest of justice that the parties be joined since the issue at stake affected their interests. INEC commenced Melaye’s recall following the receipt of a petition from members of his constituency demanding his recall. Melaye, however, approached the court seeking an order stopping INEC from going ahead with the recall process, pending the determination of a suit he had filed challenging his recall.

Melaye, in the suit, alleged irregularities and fraud in the petition.

The APC filed a similar suit, seeking to stop INEC from recalling Melaye, which was adjourned until September 29.

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