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INEC To Suspend Melaye’s Recall

The Nation / Nigeria: The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said on Thursday it would suspend the process of recalling the Senator Dino Melaye from the Senate, in compliance with a court order.

The Commission took the decision at its weekly meeting held in Abuja.

The Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee in INEC, Prince Adedeji Soyebi, who disclosed this in a statement, said the Commission would halt the recall process as directed by court.

He said INEC would also draw the attention of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, to the order stopping it from ahead with the process.

The meeting, according to Soyebi, also approved a policy of comprehensive audit after all elections.

“This is in line with its desire to ensure transparency and overall improvement in the electoral process,” he added.

INEC had earlier notified Melaye about the receipt of petition seeking his recall from the upper legislative chamber, a development which prompted the senator to approach the court for injunction restraining the Commission from going ahead with the process.

But the Commission went ahead with the process by announcing a timetable for Melaye’s recall from the Senate.

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on July 6 ordered INEC and Melaye to maintain the “status quo” until a ruling is passed on the lawmaker’s suit.

The statement reads: ” The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) held its regular weekly meeting today and considered the order given by the Federal High Court, Abuja, dated 6th July 2017 directing the “parties to maintain the status quo till the determination of the plaintiff’s motion on notice,” in respect of the suit filed by Senator Dino Melaye, seeking orders of injunction against the Commission, to stop it from acting on the petition by the registered voters of Kogi West Senatorial district.

“As a responsible, law-abiding institution, INEC will comply with the order. However, the Commission has also decided to take immediate steps to vacate the court order and for the matter to be heard and determined expeditiously. Whereas, the court adjourned hearing of the Motion on Notice to 29th September 2017, it should be noted that Section 69 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) sets a limit of 90 days from the date of the presentation of the petition (21st June, 2017) for the exercise to be completed.

“The Commission further decided to draw the attention of the Chief Justice of Nigeria to the order in view of its effect on the performance of the Commission’s constitutional duty to conduct the referendum for the recall in Kogi West Senatorial district.”

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