The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, says it has been served with the ruling of a Federal High Court on the process to recall the senator representing Kogi West senatorial district, Dino Melaye.
The INEC spokesperson, Rotimi Oyekanmi, said the commission received the court papers on Monday but was yet to study it.
“We have a copy of the court ruling now, so we have to study it and make a decision, and that will take a while,” he told PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview on Monday.
Mr. Oyekanmi had told this newspaper on Friday that the commission would proceed with the process because it had not been served with the ruling.
An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court had last Thursday ordered parties involved in the planned recall of Mr. Melaye to maintain status quo.
The order was made exparte, implying the order was given without hearing the other party, in this case INEC, which had planned to commence the process on July 10.
Mike Ozekhome, counsel to Mr. Melaye had explained that maintaining status quo meant the commission should halt the plan to proceed with the senator’s recall.
“The court gave an order exparte saying that parties should maintain status quo until it hears our motion for interlocutory injunction; because we had filed a motion for interlocutory injunction,” Mr. Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said.
“Now parties have all been asked to let things remain as they are, till September 29 when the court will entertain arguments on the interlocutory seeking to stop INEC from proceeding with the recall.”
Over 188,000 eligible voters in Mr. Melaye’s Kogi west district signed for the recall.
INEC had written to the senator informing him of the receipt of the petition by his constituents and its plan to kick-start the process on July 3.
According to the timetable it subsequently released on the recall, INEC had planned to post the notice of verification at the commission’s constituency office in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital this Monday.
The commission also said it would verify the signatures of those calling for the recall on August 19 and publish the results same day.