By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it would comply with the order of the Federal High Court, Abuja that temporarily suspended the recall of Senator Dino Melaye from the Senate.
Melaye represents the Kogi West Senatorial District at the Upper Chamber.
The Commission disclosed this in a statement issued by Prince Adedeji Soyebi, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee on Thursday in Abuja.
Soyebi said the commission reached the decision after considering the court order dated July 6, 2017, at its regular weekly meeting held on Thursday.
The court order had directed all parties listed in the suit filed by Melaye to maintain the status quo till the determination of the motion on notice.
Melaye was seeking order of injunction against the commission to stop it from acting on the petition by registered voters of Kogi west senatorial district.
“As a responsible, law-abiding institution, INEC will comply with the order.
“However, the commission has also decided to take immediate steps to vacate the court order for the matter to be heard and determined expeditiously.
“Whereas the court had adjourned hearing of the Motion on Notice till Sept. 29, the commission by law has 90 days to complete the process,’’ he said.
Soyebi further said: “section 69 of the 1999 Constitution (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 national commissioner however, said the commission did draw the attention of the Chief Justice of Nigeria to the order.
Soyebi said this was in view of the negative effect the order had on the performance of the commission’s constitutional duty.
In another development, Soyebi said the commission had 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,’’ he said.