Nnamdi Dimgba, a judge of the federal high court in Abuja, has ordered that the recall of Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west, be moved to the court of appeal.

Dimgba gave the directive after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) withdrew its motion seeking an order of the court, allowing it to serve the recall petition on Melaye through substituted means rather than personal service.

He struck out the motion after Yusuf Ustaz, INEC’s lawyer, announced its withdrawal in court.

The judge subsequently directed all issues pertaining to the case be taken to the court of appeal.

Ustaz said since Melaye’s appeal against the September 11 judgment had been entered at the court of appeal, all pending applications, including the ones filed by Melaye for stay of execution of the verdict, should be taken to the court of appeal.

On September 15, INEC filed the ex parte motion seeking substituted service of the recall petition on Melaye, following his alleged refusal to accept service of the petition and other accompanying documents as earlier ordered by the court.

Ustaz also said Melaye had been “dodging” service, as an attempt by the INEC to serve Melaye during the senate’s plenary on Tuesday also failed.

He had urged Dimgba to hear the ex parte motion, but Nkem Nnamdi, Melaye’s counsel, opposed the hearing on the grounds that the court no longer had jurisdiction to hear any application concerning the case since his client’s appeal against the September 11 judgment of the court had been “entered” at the appeal court.

But Ustaz withdrew the motion after the judge raised some questions about the propriety of the ex parte motion filed after the court had finally disposed of the case by delivering judgment on September 11.

On Tuesday, INEC officials dropped the recall documents in the front of Melaye’s office when they did not meet the lawmaker.

With the latest development, INEC would have to wait for the appeal court verdict in order to know whether to continue or halt the process.



28 Sept, 2017


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