Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) this morning at the National Assembly in Abuja formally served Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West constituency) the notice of his recall instituted by his constituents.
The INEC legal team and court bailiff arrived at Melaye’s Room 213 office at about 11:00 a.m. with four bags containing petitions from the various local governments involved. But the office was under lock and key, as the staff, having got wind of the visit, had quickly scurried away.
As of the time of filing this story, the documents had been left in front of the office, as the INEC officials could not get in. But while they were waiting, a group of Melaye loyalists arrived and started to query and challenge those who had dropped the bags, a situation that nearly resulted in fisticuffs.
Meanwhile, the Senate was in a plenary session while the bailiff and other officials from INEC laid siege at the lobby of the National Assembly waiting for the Senator to come out of the chamber to enable them to serve him in person.
Speaking to journalists at the weekend, the controversial senator claimed that the window provided by the constitution for the service of the recall petition on him had elapsed.
“I would not be seen to be breaching the law,” he said.
The senator’s stance comes despite the fact that it was the suit he filed at the court that eventually led to INEC suspending the recall process before the Federal High Court asked that it be continued.