INEC speaks on suspension of Senator Dino Melaye’s recall

Senator Dino Melaye [Photo: dinomelaye.com]
Senator Dino Melaye [Photo: dinomelaye.com]

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has refuted negative insinuations trailing its decision to suspend the recall process of Senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West, in compliance with a court order.

Okechukwu Ibeanu, a national commissioner and acting Chairman of INEC said in a statement on Saturday in Abuja that the attention of the commission had been drawn to some media reports about its decision to obey the court order.

Mr. Ibeanu, a professor, said some of the reports were claiming that INEC was being blackmailed into abandoning the process as a result of the decision of the Senate to probe the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TEFUND).

He said relating INEC’s decision to the Senate’s intention to probe TETFUND, where the present INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, previously served as executive secretary, was false and misleading.

He also described it as deliberate attempt to portray the commission in a bad light and cast aspersions on it.

“The commission wishes to state unequivocally and categorically that these reports are totally incorrect and mischievous,” he said.

Mr. Ibeanu said while the commission formally acknowledged the receipt of the petition submitted to it by some registered voters from Kogi West, it also notified Mr. Melaye about the development in writing.

He added that in line with the powers conferred on it by the Constitution and the Electoral Act, the Commission on July 3, formally announced the timetable and schedule of activities for the recall of the Senator.

He stated that the commission, in line with its issued timetable for the recall, pasted the Notice of Verification at the Kogi West Constituency (INEC Office in Lokoja) on July 10.

“However, on the same July 10, INEC received an order given by the Federal High Court, Abuja, and dated July 6.’’

He said that the order in respect to suit filed by Melaye, directed the “parties to maintain the status quo till the determination of the plaintiff’s motion on notice.’’

Mr. Ibeanu added that the Judge, in granting the relief sought by the Senator, also fixed Sept. 29 as the date to hear the Motion on Notice.

He said that by this date, the 90-day timeframe established by the Constitution for the entire recall process to be completed, would have lapsed.

He said deeply concerned by this situation, INEC considered the court order and its implication for the Commission’s ability to carry out its constitutional function regarding the petition to recall the Senator.

He stated that after weighing all the options, the commission, as a responsible organization, decided that it should not be seen to be disobeying a court order, “however inappropriate it may consider the order.

“However, in this particular case, the commission also decided to take immediate steps to vacate the court order and for the matter to be heard and determined expeditiously.

This, he said, was to ensure that the case was determined within a limit of 90 days from the date of the presentation of the petition that the exercise must be completed.

Mr. Ibeanu added that INEC also decided to call the attention of the chief justice of Nigeria to the order, in view of its effect on the performance of the its constitutional duty to conduct the referendum for the recall.

“Besides, the Commission considered it important to draw the Chief Justice’s attention to the matter for immediate judicial intervention.’’

This, according to him, is to avoid situation where, if a similar cases arises in the future, the Commission’s work will be imperiled, as any individual could rush to court to stop what is clearly a constitutional process.

“In fact, contrary to the impression given by the misleading reports, the INEC Chairman, Yakubu, was not even at the meeting where the Commission took the decision to obey the court order.

“Yakubu is currently leading a team of the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC) on an official fact-finding mission to some West African countries, in his capacity as the body’s President,” he explained.

He assured Nigerians that INEC would continue to diligently carry out its constitutional functions without fear, favour, affection or ill will.

(NAN)


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  • Ado Abdul

    Nigeria has no problem more than her legislature and the judiciary.

    • Agba

      The problem of Nigeria is 1999 millitary constitution giving to us by Abdusalam Abubakar,and God almighty will collapse these ZOO.

      • patriotism

        Biafraud animal, no biafra no referendum no resturucturing APC for life

      • Ade Omowest

        What concerns you here? This is Nigeria of all tribes, Hausa, Fulani, Igbo, Yoruba, Birom, Urhobo, Ijaw,Kanuri etc: and not Biafraud of your Kanu and IPOB. .

        • Agba

          Se o gbadun?mo nso nkan ti o ndun mi lokan,o nso oro IPOB,what is my business with Biafra,kini ti Alaba pelu ibeji.

          • Ade Omowest

            Iwo ni ara re o da rara; otutu mun opolo re ni o je ki o ma pe Nigeria ni ZOO. What leaves in the Zoo if not animals? When you think and talk like yahoo yahoo Nnamdi Kanu of IPOB, we will refer to you as Biafraud, Efulefu, Nwa-Osu, Anunofia, Eranko etc.

  • usman alhassan

    Hmm it’s a lie you’re just afraid of proving your boss that’s the actual reason why you stopped the process not because of abiding by .

    • band olu

      If it’s a lie why did INEC petition d CJN to look into d matter??…

  • Gerald Okoduwa

    This is one reason Jega should be encouraged to come back to INEC. It’s not a job for anyone who has something to hide but one for a man of integrity. Alternatively, Buhari should appeal to Oby Ezekwesili or Wole Soyinka to come and handle this job. These are people that Saraki and his gang cannot intimidate.

  • Sword of Damocles

    The Judge who gave this order to delay until Sept 29th, should be castrated and force-fed his own nuts to eat. He is born of no father( a certified bastard), and has no last name. combine this with the Deizani-Aluko forfeiture hearing here in the States yesterday, one is provided with prescient insight into how ROTTEN & Useless Nigeria truly is. No Honor, no Character, no NOTHING, just VACUOUS space.

    • dave jacob

      Castration, ah, you wicked o! He should be buried alive!!!

      • Sword of Damocles

        Who wicked pass? me or all the betrayers(this judge/judiciary, saraki, melaye, all of the NASS, IBB, Jonathan, Yari, Abdusalam, Danjuma, Fayose, Kyari, and LIST GOES ON & ON!!!) of the common man. Regretfully, the fact that the list is too long again speaks to the useless nature of the Land of my Father. Please reply my post with any REDEEMING QUALITIES that you can think of . YES, Castration would be a BLESSING for this lot

        • Yego V

          Believe me many of us share your anger and frustration. I would have no sympathy if anarchy ensures. The other time I read that members of the national assembly are now afraid to drive there cars with Honourable plates for fear of jungle justice. I felt encouraged. I hope the same will be the case for corrupt judges.

    • Toyo Jimmy

      The judge might have been wrong for adjourning the matter for such a long date, but then we must look at the circumstances of the case well. I’m surprised all news media continue giving the impression that the judge err without doing proper investigation. Federal High Court, as I write, commenced vacation and they are to return some time in September. I believe this explains the long adjournment.

      It is wrong for INEC to attack a judicial officer this way when they know that there is a way out from this situation. Let them apply to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to have the matter transfered to the a vacation judge.

  • Arkhuma

    But why would a Judge, who is deemed to be fully aware of the 90 days provision for a recall process to elapse, grants such extensive adjournment to arrest a clear constitutional mandate of INEC? Obviously these are indeed sad days…when even the only tool of recall, despite the constitutional barriers to prevent him from wielding it, could be taken away in a twinkle by the court. The court….why always the court. We will wait to see if INEC succeeds in vacating the order…..and if not, we shall all realise the absurdity of a constitutional provision that could only be enforced at the discretion of certain custodians of power. Now I’m loudly hearing the “dead on arrival” retort resonating.

  • Tunde

    Well done INEC for going straight to the CJN and bringing this in the open! This kind of strategy will ensure till habit of the past of kicking evil into the “long grass” to disappear stops! this should prompt the CJN to pass to a vacation Judge; these “evil lawmakers” are trying to protect themselves by using their “lap dogs” in the judiaciary to subvert the law; but the fight against them must be resolute and continuous till we win! We must take our country back from area boys and holigans! WE MUST!