Legal fireworks in Abuja as Dino Melaye scrambles to halt recall from Senate

Dino Melaye, Senator representing Kogi West. [Photo Credit: Punch Newspapers]
Dino Melaye, Senator representing Kogi West. [Photo Credit: Punch Newspapers]

The Federal High Court, Abuja, has fixed Sept. 11 to deliver judgment in the suit filed by Senator Dino Melaye (APC- Kogi), challenging his planned recall by some voters in his constituency.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba fixed the September date after listening to arguments from all parties involved in the suit.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had commenced the process to recall Mr. Melaye, but the senator went to court, seeking stoppage of the process.

One of the grounds upon which Mr. Melaye, who represents Kogi West in the Senate, challenged his recall, was that the signatures of some of the voters in the petition for his recall were fictitious.

Mr. Melaye who argued his case through his counsel, Nkem Okoro, said majority of the signatures on the petition were dead people.

He added that death certificates were attached to the processes he filed as exhibits to ascertain the veracity of his claim that some of the signatories were deceased.

He further alleged that he was denied fair hearing by both his constituents and INEC.

“The petitioners ought to have informed Mr. Melaye of the facts and circumstances upon which the alleged loss of confidence was based prior to submission of the petition to INEC.

“INEC upon receipt of the said petition only served Melaye a mere notice that it had received a petition for his recall. So we are challenging INEC’s action.

“They should have shown a copy of the petition to Melaye and failure to do so amounts to denial of fair hearing and a violation of the laws of natural justice.”

Mr. Okoro also said his client was challenging the validity of the said petition on the grounds that the petition was based on political animosity, malice and bad faith.

He urged the court to grant the prayers of his motion and stop INEC from going ahead with the planned recall.

Counsel to the other plaintiffs in the matter said they aligned themselves with the arguments of Mr. Okoro.

Counsel to INEC, Anthony Adeniyi, on his part, said Mr. Melaye had failed to show the court the particular signatories on the petition to which the death certificates attached as exhibit belonged.

“If he attached death certificates, he should tell the court that this certificate for example, belongs to signature number 24 on the petition, but he failed to do that.”

Justice Dimgba adjourned the matter until Sept. 11 for judgment.

The judge also fixed Sept.11 to deliver judgment in a suit filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC), also seeking to stop Melaye’s recall.

The judge consolidated the two suits to avoid having conflicting judgments since the subject of both suits were similar.



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  • realist

    Dimgba is one of the cash and carry justices, so the judgement will be in favor of the highest bidder. Just watch out. I am afraid if he can prove me wrong this time.

    • Kayode

      Not only about cash and carry, I’m surprised judgment delivery was postponed for 1month by the judge after hearing the case ignoring the fact that some actions prescribed by the Constitution regarding a recall process are time barred. Watch it, even if Melaye loses the case at the high Court, he would appeal all the way to supreme Court and ask for stay/maintenance of status quo until all appeals are determined. By the time the case is completed and in item’s favor, it would be a race against time to complete all actions for the recall else it becomes unconstitutional and subject to easy challenge in court. Melaye could as well tow the line of his brother in the Senate to start a fresh legal challenge which the court would still entertain. Welcome to the Nigerian Judicial System!

  • Arabakpura

    Dino has worked very hard for this Degree! Dear Lord please grant him this one as his 14th Degree!

    • Julius

      lolz…smh. Funny.

  • Konkolo

    Nigeria, a country ruled by a bunch of rascals.

  • princegab

    That’s naija for you, bringing in the court as intermediary affords melaye to bribe his way through. We are watching and enjoying our folly.

  • Suleiman Alatise

    But one day!

  • My Plegde

    Well, this will surely go down the wire and I see Dino tactically seeing out his tenure but the electorate should brace up to a fight against the return of this self serving politicans period.