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INEC Wants Court to Vacate Restraining Order on Melaye’s Recall


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) approached a Federal High Court, Abuja, Thursday, asking it to set aside an earlier order, suspending the recall of Sen. Dino Melaye (APC-Kogi).
The order was issued on July 6 and subsequently adjourned the matter to September 29.
INEC in a motion on notice brought before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba Thursday, prayed the court to set aside the order which asked INEC to maintain status quo.
In the motion filed by Sulayman Ibrahim, counsel to the the electoral body, claimed that the order has hindered it from proceeding with the recall process of the Senator.
In a 16 paragraph affidavit in support of the motion on notice, INEC claimed that the order made by a Federal High Court Judge, Justice John Tsoho, is against the time bound duty of the Commission as enshrined under Section 69.
The affidavit said that Melaye misrepresentated and suppressed material facts misleading the court or the judge to grant the order of interim injuction.
INEC held that it received a petition dated June 19th and received June 21 seeking the recall of Melaye and that consequence upon the receipt of the petition it has published time table and schedule of activities for the recall process.
The electoral body averred that since the exparte order was served on it on July 10, it has hindered it from taking any further action in respect of the recall petition.
Specifically, the electorate body claimed that it has 90 days starting from June 21 to conduct referendum in line with the approved time table and schedule of action.
The electoral body also claimed that the recall process is time band and that the 90 day period for the exercise will lapse on September 18.
Beside, INEC also stated that the last day for submission of application by interested observers, names of verification agents for the senator sought to be recalled and those of the petitioners have already been slated for July 31, August 10,15 and 19 .
In another motion filed also by INEC, it prayed for an order for accelerated hearing of substantive suit and all order processes relating to the recall petition.
It held it should be heard during the vacation
Ibrahim told the court that he had filed three difference motion praying for difference order and that he had served same on the respondent.
However, counsel to Melaye, Nkem Okoro, who stood in for Chief Mike Ozehkome admitted receiving the three motions.
He however said the motions were served on Tuesday and that he needed seven days as required by law to respond to the three motions.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba agreed with him and adjourned hearing till July 27.

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