The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has withdrawn its motion seeking an order of the Federal High Court in Abuja allowing it to serve the recall petition on the Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West in the National Assembly.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja, struck out the motion after INEC’s counsel, Mr Yunus Usman (SAN), announced the withdrawal in court.
The judge also directed that all issues pertaining to the case should thereafter be taken to the Court of Appeal.
He noted that since Melaye’s appeal against the court’s 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.
The motion was filed following the alleged refusal of the embattled senator to accept service of the petition and other accompanying documents as earlier ordered by the court on September 11.
At the resumed hearing, INEC’s counsel had urged the court to hear the ex-parte motion, but Melaye’s counsel, Mr Nkem Okoro, opposed the hearing.
INEC’s counsel, in the course of the proceedings, 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.
Justice Dimgba had noted that Order 6 of the Federal High Court Rules under which INEC filed the ex-parte motion presupposed that there was a pending case.
The judge explained that the judgment, having been delivered in the case filing an ex-parte motion, was not the appropriate means for enforcement of the judgment.
Usman agreed with the judge and withdrew the motion which was consequently struck out by the judge.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Dimgba had in his judgment delivered on Sept. 11, dismissed Melaye’s suit challenging the validity of the recall process.
The judge ruled that as a pre-condition for the exercise to commence, the electoral body must serve the senator with the recall petition and accompanying documents, including signatures of the constituents recalling Melaye.