It’s unconstitutional to continue with my recall process – Melaye tells INEC

Peoples Digest Online-  Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west district, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of breaching the constitution in his recall process. The senator is facing a recall from the senate by his constituents who accused him of poor representation.

INEC had issued a timetable for the recall on July 3 but the lawmaker went to the court to challenge the recall process. The electoral body suspended the process after the court ruled in Melaye’s favour. However, last week, a federal high court in Abuja asked the commission to proceed with the process, leading to it releasing a fresh timetable for the recall.

But Melaye told journalists in Abuja on Monday that accepting any petition from INEC would be unconstitutional as “the window the constitution provides for the service of recall petition had elapsed.” “It is clear that by the provisions of section 69 (b) of the 1999 constitution, INEC must act on the petition purportedly presented to it on June 23, 2017, by conducting a referendum within 90 days of receipt of the petition,” he said.

“The 90 days period as provided for in the constitution for conducting the referendum after our verification, elapsed on September 23, 2017. “The time having elapsed, I cannot under the circumstance, aid and abet INEC to further infringe on the provisions of the constitution, which I have sworn to defend.

“The trial judge failed to respect that provision of the constitution when he elongated 90 days provided for, saying the process was paused when the interim order for maintenance of status quo was granted.”

The lawmaker said Mike Ozekhome, his counsel, had served INEC a notice to produce the said petition in the course of hearing “but INEC failed to produce the petition in court”. “I have also instructed my lawyer to challenge the jurisdiction of the trial court to entertain an ex parte application for the service on me,” he also said.

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