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INEC: Only Valid Court Order Can Stop Melaye’s Recall Process

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The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has said only a legitimate court order could stop process for the recall of a senator, Dino Melaye, as demanded by his Kogi West constituents.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of the commission, Rotimi Oyekanmi divulged this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Tuesday in Abuja. He stated that filing a lawsuit does not hold enough weight to stop the recall process.

Naija News has earlier reported INEC’s release of the schedule of activities for the recall of Senator Dino Melaye, the representative of Kogi West Senatorial District in the Senate, with August 19 fixed for verification of signatures of petitioners demanding his recall.

READ ALSO: INEC releases time-table for Dino Melaye recall process

However, several suits have been instituted in courts to stop the process.

The cases include those by Senator Melaye and Concerned Kogi Registered Voters, filed separately at a Federal High Court in Abuja requesting an order to impede INEC from conducting the verification of signatures and the recall.

Mr. Oyekanmi divulged that the commission’s actions are being guided by the provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act.

“The constituents came with sacks of documents which they said were `the signatures’ of more than half of the voting population of Kogi West Senatorial District, which Melaye represents.

READ ALSO: Those Asking For My Recall Are Boxing The Air; Dino Melaye

“They also presented a register of the said signatories and a letter, asking INEC to begin the process of recalling the senator representing that particular district.

“Subsequently, the commission, in exercise of the powers conferred on it by Sections 116 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), on Monday issued a timetable and schedule of activities for the recall of the senator.

“The first stage is a verification exercise slated for July 10, 2017.

“To that extent, filing a lawsuit is not enough to stop INEC from carrying out its legitimate duty.

“Only a legitimate court order or an injunction can be considered by the commission,’’ he said.

Mr. Oyekanmi said that the process of verification would check claims by Senator Melaye that a number of the signatures submitted to INEC were forged and that names of dead registered voters were also included, clear all that.

READ ALSO: 52.3 Percent Kogi West Voters Signs To Recall Dino Melaye

He added that INEC would adopt the established procedure in verifying thumbprints of registered  voters who are included in the signatories for the recall, irrespective of their literacy level.

“The commission will adopt its normal way of conducting the verification exercise, which will be applicable to both the literate and not-so-literate.’’

He said that the commission would be force to stop at the current stage if the authentications do not meet laid down standards.

According to him; “If the verification fails to meet the established standards, the commission will not proceed to the next stage. The recall process automatically terminates there’’.

Source: Naija News

Ibukun Josephine Bankole was a Senior Associate at Naija News. A Mass Communication graduate, Ibukun is passionate about journalism especially in the areas of health and child related issues. She loves eating beans, singing, acting and giving motivational speeches. Ibukun is meticulous and has a positive approach to life. Contact me via twitter/Instagram @ibukunbankole_