June 25, 2017

INEC to press ahead with recall despite Dino Melaye’s Lawsuit


Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello and Dino Melaye

By Omeiza Ajayi

Efforts by the embattled senator representing Kogi West in the Senate, Dino Melaye, to halt his recall by his constituents might have hit a brickwall.

This is because the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which received the signatories for the recall, on Wednesday, says it would press on with the exercise.

Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello and Dino Melaye

A top-level source in the legal unit of INEC said the electoral umpire has at least three precedents to  follow in dealing with the case.

“INEC would go ahead to conduct the referendum in so far as INEC is able to verify or ascertain the genuineness of the signatures. Every lawmaker that had faced the issue of recall in the past, from Plateau, Jigawa to Abia, ran to the courts but such actions never stopped the Commission from going ahead with the referendum”, he said.

‘We’ve not been served’

Meanwhile, INEC’s Director in charge of Voter Education, Publicity, Civil Society and Gender Liaison, Oluwole Osaze-Uzi said the electoral body was not yet aware of any lawsuit filed by Melaye, adding that INEC would not want to react to issues it read in the media.

“We have not been served. We shall enter an appearance and defend what we have to defend (when served with the notice). But for now, we cannot start reacting to comments or statements we read in the media”, he said.

The embattled senator had, on Friday, reportedly dragged INEC before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, seeking an order to halt the process by his constituents to recall him.

Sunday Vanguard understands that no date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.