Health Care

Planned recall: Melaye heads for Supreme Court

Planned recall: Melaye heads for Supreme Court”

Senator Dino Melaye yesterday asked the Supreme Court to declare his recall process illegal.

Melaye in a notice of appeal dated April 3, 2018 and filed by his counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), wants the apex court to equally set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered on March 16, 2018, which dismissed his appeal against the recall for lacking in merit.

Melaye's appeal is sequel to a judgement delivered by the Court of Appeal on March 16, which gave INEC the go ahead to continue with the recall.

Before the suit could be heard, Justice John Tsoho (also of the Federal High Court, Abuja) entertained an ex-parte application from Melaye, and granted it, restraining INEC from taking any further steps in relation to the petition.

In the appeal, the lawmaker is also seeking an order declaring the petition purportedly presented to INEC for his recall as illegal, unlawful, wrongful, unconstitutional, invalid, null, and void and of no effect whatsoever.

INEC had in July past year, on receiving a petition from some registered voters from Melaye's constituency, requesting his recall on grounds of non-performance, wrote to notify him about the petition and further steps it meant to take.

Some of the grounds upon which the appeal was anchored challenged the entire decision of the Court of Appeal.

According to him, "unless the execution of the judgement is stayed and/or suspended, the appellant's/applicant's appeal already filed would be defeated, rendered nugatory and a situation of complete helplessness foisted on the Supreme Court".

The court affirmed the judgment of Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court, who held that Melaye's suit was "hasty, premature and presumptuous".

Justice Tunde Awotoye and two other judges held that contrary to Melaye's contention, the 90 days provided by the 1999 Constitution for the recall process to be concluded had not run out but had been paused since June 23, 2017 when he commenced the suit before the Federal High Court, Abuja. "It is the duty of INEC by reason of which the court failed to invalidate the petition presented to INEC".

He asked the parties to take their case before the appellate court.

"That it is not for the court to verify the signature on the petition".

The appellate court dismissed the issue of lack of fair hearing that Melaye raised against INEC, stressing that the electoral body was neither a tribunal or a court of law.

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