The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will on Monday 18th September release a revised timetable and schedule of activities for the recall process of the Senator representing Kogi West, Mr. Dino Melaye.
According to a statement signed by National Commissioner Mohammed Haruna, a Member of the Commission’s Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC) and dated 12th September, the decision followed the judgment delivered by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division on 11th September.
With this development, Mr. Haruna stated, “all legal hurdles have now been cleared the recall process can now proceed as envisaged by the constitution, the Electoral Act and the extant INEC guidelines and regulations.”
The Commission had, on 21st June received a petition from some registered voters from the Kogi West Senatorial District, demanding for the recall of the Senator representing their District. Relying on the powers conferred on it by Sections 69 and 110 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, and Section 116 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), the Commission on 3rd July announced the timetable and schedule of activities for the recall of the Senator.
However, on 10th July, the Commission received an order given by the Federal High Court, Abuja and dated 6th July, 2017, directing the “parties to maintain the status quo till the determination of the Plaintiff’s motion on notice, in respect of the suit filed by the concerned senator, seeking orders of injunction against the Commission to stop it from acting on the petition by the Kogi West Senatorial District Registered Voters. The Judge had also fixed 29th September 2017 as the date to hear the motion on notice, by which time, the 90-day time-frame established by the constitution for the entire process to be completed would have elapsed.
Convinced that the ruling would affect its ability to carry out its constitutional function regarding the petition to recall the Senator, the Commission took immediate steps to vacate the court order, even though it complied with the ruling in line with its longstanding tradition of obeying legitimate court orders.