Melaye asks Supreme Court to declare his recall process illegal
Senator Dino Melaye yesterday asked the Supreme Court to declare his recall process illegal.
The process to recall him from the Senate was initiated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He is seeking a declaration that the purported petition against him was illegal, unlawful, wrongful, unconstitutional, null and void.
In the notice of appeal dated April 3, the Senator representing Kogi West, further asked the apex court to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal, delivered on March 16.
The appellate court had dismissed his appeal against the recall for lacking in merit.
The notice of appeal, which was filed by his team of lawyers, led by Mike Ozekhome (SAN), was rooted on seven grounds.
Melaye is asking the apex court to declare that the statutory 90-day period, as provided for in section 69(b) of the 1999 Constitution, had elapsed.
He disclosed that the period having elapsed by effusion of time on September 23, 2017, INEC could no longer validly proceed on the basis of the purported petition, which was presented on June 23, 2017.
He further prayed for an order of perpetual injunction restraining INEC from commencing or further continuing with the process of the petition by his purported constituents.
The senator is challenging the entire decision of the Court of Appeal on the ground that it erred in law when it held that: “An unchallenged finding of fact stands.”
“That it is not for the court to verify the signature on the petition. It is the duty of INEC by reason of which the court failed to invalidate the petition presented to INEC.”
Another ground of appeal attacked the decision of the Court of Appeal that: “The voters at the referendum are to show through their votes, a loss of confidence in the member.
“It is not for the court to assess the reason for the loss of confidence, the basis of which it held that the uncontroverted averments in the affidavit of the appeal at the trial court, are not material.”
The Court of Appeal had on March 16, dismissed Melaye’s appeal for lacking in merit, as it disclosed no cause of action.
In a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Tunde Awotoye, the appellant resolved all the issues contained in the appeal in favour of the INEC. Other Justices on the panel were Justice Mohammed Garba and Justice Mohammed Ambi-Danjuma.
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 Awotoye, had in a unanimous ruling yesterday further held, among others, that the 90-day period provided by the constitution for INEC to commence the process of recall could be extended since it had not started to run.