The Kogi State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday served the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the notice of a lawsuit against the agency on Senator Dino Melaye’s recall process.
In an originating summon brought pursuant to Sections 65(2)(b), 68 and 69 of the Constitution, and Order 3, Rule 9, Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules, 2009, the Kogi APC and 12 principal officers accused INEC of commencing a Melaye recall process based on a fictitious petition, which contained names of dead persons.
Joined as Plaintiffs with the APC are: Alhaji Haddy Ametuo, Hon. Shaibu Osune. S.T. Adejo, Yahaya Ismaila, Isah Daniel, Chief Gbenga Ashagun, Ahovi Ibrahim, Ghali Usman, Isa Abubakar, I. Molemodile, Abubakar Adamu and Daniel Sekpe.
The plaintiffs as the chairman and other principal officers of the APC in Kogi, filed the suit for themselves and on behalf of the party’s working committee.
Raising seven issues for determination, they prayed the court to within 30 days, make an order of injunction restraining INEC, either by itself or through its servants, employees, agents and privies from commencing or continuing or completing the process of recall of the party’s sponsored member representing Kogi West.
They want the court to rule that the petition submitted to INEC Chairman for the recall of Melaye was illegal, unlawful, wrongful, unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.
They are seeking a declaration that the recall process initiated vide a purported petition against the party’s sponsored member of the Senate by some of his constituents pursuant to Section 69 of the Constitution was illegal, unlawful, wrongful, unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatsoever for being contrary and in contravention of the rules of natural justice and the constitutionally guaranteed right to fair hearing under Section 36 of the Constitution.
The plaintiffs also want a declaration that the purported petition submitted to INEC was incompetent, invalid, null, void and of no effect whatsoever, having been purportedly written by persons who are either dead, fictitious, non-existent or those from outside Kogi West Senatorial District or constituency.
They also urged the court to restrain INEC from conducting any referendum based on the petition presented and signed by “dead, fictitious and purported constituents of Kogi West”.
In an affidavit to support the motion Ametuo said Melaye was a good representative of Kogi West Senatorial District and APC, adding that he had discharged his legislative and oversight duties diligently.
According to him, Melaye’s recall was initiated and occasioned by malice, bad faith and witch hunt, adding that those who purportedly signed the petition were either dead, non-existent or persons not registered members of Kogi West.
Ametuo added that one Abubakar Abdullahi, who died on January 14, 2013, and Lami Musa who passed on October 31, 2014, were purported signatories to the alleged petition for Melaye’s recall.