Melaye’s recall: INEC yet to get court ruling, goes ahead with process

The Independent National Electoral Commission( INEC) yesterday said it is going ahead with the timetable for the recall process for Senator Dino Melaye because it has not been served any court ruling or process.

The recall process is expected to begin on Monday.

Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja had on Thursday rejected Melaye’s ex-parte motion for a temporary injunction to restrain the INEC from proceeding with the recall process.

Tsoho only asked the parties to maintain the status quo pending the hearing of the Motion on Notice.

According to a top official of the electoral commission, who spoke with our correspondent at about 6pm yesterday, the recall process will go ahead.

The source said: “As at the close of work, we were not served any order, ruling or a process from the Federal High Court.

“Even if we had received any order from the court, our legal unit will still advise us on what the status quo means. We cannot act in vacuum.

“Certainly, we are adhering to our timetable on the recall process. We are going ahead from Monday.

“Any time we get a court order to stop the process, we will comply immediately.”

The timetable released by the INEC for Melaye’s recall process will run from July 10 to August 19.

The notice, dated July 3, reads in part: “In exercise of the powers conferred on the Independent National Electoral Commission (“the Commission”) by Sections 69 and 110 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended); Section 116 of the Electoral Act 2010(as amended) and of all the powers enabling it in that behalf, the Commission hereby issues this timetable schedule of activities for the recall of the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Kogi State.”

The details of the timetable are as follows:

Notice of Verification (July 10). To be posted at the constituency (INEC LGA Office, Lokoja).

Last day for submission of application by interested observers ( July 31). INEC headquarters.

Last day for submission of names of verification agents for the member sought to be recalled and the petitioners (August10). By a letter addressed and submitted to the Resident Electoral Commission (REC) indicating the polling unit verification agents arranged by LGAs as well as collation agents and where they will serve.

Stakeholders meeting ( August 15). INEC State Office.

Conduct of Verification (August19). To be held in the polling units in the constituency.

“The commission shall issue the timetable and schedule of activities for the conduct of referendum subject to the outcome of the verification exercise.”

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