By Wandoo Sombo
The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday consolidated two different suits seeking to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from initiating the process of recalling Sen. Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi).
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba allowed for the suits filed by Melaye and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to be consolidated, to avoid having conflicting judgments since the subject matter of both suits were similar.
The application to consolidate the APC suit to the one filed by Melaye was brought by counsel to party, Mr O.D. Atoyebi.
Dimgba said that he was mindful to grant the application which was formerly before Justice John Tsoho, in order to avoid conflicting judgments.
He, therefore, directed the APC lawyer to serve all processes on all the parties.
Dimgba had earlier granted the application of some interested parties seeking to join the suit as defendants and plaintiff respectively.
Mr Olowo Cornelius, John Ajorin and Malam Yusuf Adamu (the petitioners) had sought to be joined as co-defendants, while Michael Olowoleyemo, applied to be joined as co-plaintiff.
Ruling on the applications argued by Mr Anthony Adeniyi for parties seeking to be joined as defendants, the court held that joining the parties was for “effectual and complete” adjudication of the matter.
Justice Dimgba said that it was in the interest of justice that the parties be joined since the issue at stake affected their interests.
He adjourned the matter until Aug. 11 to hear the substantive matter.
It would be recalled that INEC commenced Melaye’s recall process following the receipt of a petition from members of his constituency demanding his recall.
Melaye, however, approached the court seeking an order stopping INEC from going ahead with the recall process, pending the determination of a suit he had filed challenging his recall.
Melaye, in the suit, alleged irregularities and fraud in the petition.
The APC filed a similar suit, seeking to stop INEC from recalling Melaye, which was adjourned until Sept. 29.