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BREAKING: Dino Melaye free as INEC suspends recall process

The Independent National Electoral Commission has said it will halt the process of recalling the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial district, Mr. Dino Melaye, in compliance with a court directive.

The electoral body on Thursday said the decision was reached at its weekly meeting held in Abuja.

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INEC had on Wednesday 12 June 2017 received six bags, which contained the signatures of 52.3 percent of the electorates from the zone and other petitions, requesting for the recall of Melaye.

 The lawmaker had sued INEC alleging that the petition for his recall included forged signatures of dead persons.

An Abuja Federal High Court on 6th July 2017 ordered INEC and Melaye to maintain the “status quo” until a ruling is passed on the lawmaker’s suit.

The election umpire in series of tweets on its Twitter handle, @inecnigeria, said it will comply with the court’s directive ” a responsible, law-abiding institution.”

It said, “INEC held its regular weekly meeting today and considered the order given by the Federal High Court, Abuja dated 6th July 2017, directing the “parties to maintain the status quo till the determination of the plaintiff’s motion on notice in respect of the suit filed by Senator Dino Melaye, seeking orders of injunction against the Commission to stop it from acting on the petition by the registered voters of Kogi West Senatorial district.

“As a responsible, law-abiding institution, INEC will comply with the order. However, INEC has also decided to take immediate steps to vacate the court order & for the matter to be heard & determined expeditiously.

“Whereas, the court adjourned hearing of the Motion on Notice to 29th September 2017, it should be noted that Section 69 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) sets a limit of 90 days from the date of the presentation of the petition (21st June, 2017) for the exercise to be completed.

“The Commission further decided to draw the attention of the Chief Justice of Nigeria to the order in view of its effect on the performance of the Commission’s constitutional duty to conduct the referendum for the recall in Kogi West Senatorial district. ”

INEC, at the meeting, also approved a policy of comprehensive audit after all elections.

“This is in line with its commitment of ensuring transparency and overall improvement of the electoral process,” it said.

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