A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday asked both the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, to “maintain the status quo” with respect to suit filed by Melaye to challenge his recall by his constituents.
Justice John Tsoho directed that the parties to maintain status quo pending the hearing of the senator’s motion seeking an interlocutory injunction to hear the recall process.
The judge fixed September 29 for the hearing of the said motion.
Speaking with our correspondent on Thursday, Melaye’s lawyer, Mr. Mike Ozekhome (SAN), said with the order by the court implied that INEC “can no longer proceed with the recall process from today (Thursday)”.
Melaye had on June 23 sued the INEC seeking an order restraining the electoral body from conducting any referendum aimed at recalling him.
Meanwhile, the INEC had on Monday released the timetable for the recall process.
But, Melaye in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/587/2017 described the recall petitions as fictitious.
Melaye, through his suit, urged the court to declare the petitions submitted to the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, as “illegal, unlawful, wrongful, unconstitutional, invalid, null, void and of no effect whatsoever”.
He also asked the court to void the recall process on the grounds that it was commenced in breach of his fundamental right to fair hearing.
The suit was filed along with an affidavit of urgency, urging the court to assign the case to a judge and be granted an accelerated hearing.