… Nneoma Ndibe
The All Progressive Congress (APC) Kogi State chapter and 12 others have asked the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from commencing the recall process of Senator Dino Melaye.
The electoral body following collation of signatures had said that it will start the recall process on July 10.
In the Originating Summons filed at the registry of the court on Tuesday, other plaintiffs listed alongside APC are Alhaji Haddy Ametuo, Hon. Shaibu Osune, S.T Adejo, Comrade Yahaya Ade Ismail, Chief Gbenga Ashagun, Ahovi S. Ibrahim, Ghali ND Usman, Isa Abubakar, I. Molemodile, Abubakr M. Adamu and Daniel Sekpe.
In the application, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/601/2017, the plaintiffs through their counsel, Solomon T. Ologunorisa SAN want the court to declare that the petition presented to the INEC Chairman for the recall of Melaye is illegal, unlawful, wrongful and of no effect whatsoever.
They also want the court to declare that the recall process initiated vide a purported petition against the their sponsored member of the Senate by some of his constituents pursuant to Section 69 of the 1999 Constitution is illegal, unlawful and of no effect whatsoever for being contrary and in contravention to the rules of natural justice and constitutionally guaranteed right to fair hearing under section 36 of the 1999 constitution.
They are therefore seeking for an order of court injunction restraining the INEC from commencing the process of recall of Melaye who is sponsored by the plaintiffs as member of the Senate.
In addition, the plaintiffs wants the court to make an order of injunction restraining the INEC from acting on the purported petition presented to it by some constituents of the plaintiffs sponsored member representing Kogi West Senatorial District.
They are also praying for an order stopping INEC from conducting any referendum based on the purported petition allegedly presented and signed by dead, fictitious and purported constituents of the plaintiffs sponsored member of the Senate for an incompetent and fundamentally defective petition.C
Earlier, the plaintiffs have asked the court to determine whether upon a proper interpretation of the provisions of Section 65(2) (b), 68(1) (g) and 69 of the 1999 Constitution, the 1st plaintiff’s sponsored member Senator Dino Melaye to the Senate is not entitled to a fair hearing before the process of his recall as contemplated by the provisions of the aforesaid section 69 of the 1999 constitution.
They also asked the court to determine whether by the provisions of Sections 68 and 69 of the 1999 constitution, Melaye , the plaintiff’s party’s sponsored member to the Senate can be validly recalled from the Senate upon an invalid petition presented to the chairman of INEC.
They further want the court to determine whether having regard to the provisions of section 69 of the 1999 constitution, INEC can commence validly the process of conducting referendum for the recall of the plaintiff’s member from the Senate in the absence of a valid and competent petition on the ground that the purported signatories to the alleged petition are either dead, fictitious, nonexistent persons from outside the Kogi West senatorial constituency.
No date has been fixed for hearing.