The Independent National Electoral Commission has allegedly said that it is continuing with the timetable for the recall process of Senator Dino Melaye since it was yet to receive the court order restraining it from doing so.
A Federal High Court in Abuja, presided over by Justice John Tsoho, had on Thursday refused to totally accept the senator’s ex-parte motion for a temporary injunction to restrain INEC from proceeding with his recall process.
The court however, partially accepted Melaye’s prayer by its ruling that all parties should maintain the status quo pending the hearing of the Motion on Notice.
But instead of suspending the process till the motion is heard as ordered by the court, it was learnt on Friday that the electoral commission is going ahead with the recall process on the reason that it has not received any court judgment on the matter.
A top official of the commission, who disclosed this on the condition of anonymity, said that at the close of work on Friday they did not receive any order, ruling or a process from the Federal High Court.
He further stated that had it been they received the court order that they would have engaged their legal unit to explain what the court means by the ‘’status quo’’ as the commission cannot act in vacuum.
INEC timetable released July 3, on the process had stated that commencement of the recall will begin July 10 to August 19.
“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 commission had said.
INEC had also given details of the process to be: 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.
It had then said that the commission shall issue the “timetable and schedule of activities for the conduct of referendum subject to the outcome of the verification exercise.”