Senator Dino Melaye will know on 11 September, whether he can abort the process to recall him from the Nigerian Senate.
The voluble Melaye, who represents Kogi West, is facing a battle of his life to stop his recall by his constituents. The Independent National Electoral Commission was verifying the signatures on the recall documents, but Melaye rushed to the court to stop the process.
Today, the Federal High Court, Abuja, fixed Sept. 11 for its judgment on the suit, The date coincides with the 16th anniversary of the terror attack on the World Trade Centre in New York.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba gave the ruling today, four days after consolidating the two suits challenging the recall.
One of the grounds upon which Melaye challenged his recall, was that the signatures of some of the voters in the petition for his recall were forged.
Melaye who argued his case through his counsel, Mr Nkem Okoro, said that majority of the signatures on the petition were of dead people.
He added that death certificates were attached to the processes he filed as exhibits to ascertain the veracity of his claim that some of the signatories were deceased.
He further alleged that he was denied fair hearing by both his constituents and INEC.
“The petitioners ought to have informed Melaye of the facts and circumstances upon which the alleged loss of confidence was based prior to submission of the petition to INEC. INEC upon receipt of the said petition only served Melaye a mere notice that it had received a petition for his recall. So we are challenging INEC’s action.
“They should have shown a copy of the petition to Melaye and failure to do so amounts to denial of fair hearing and a violation of the laws of natural justice.”
Okoro also said his client was challenging the validity of the said petition on the grounds that the petition was based on political animosity, malice and bad faith.
He urged the court to grant the prayers of his motion and stop INEC from going ahead with the planned recall.
Counsel to the other plaintiffs in the matter said they aligned themselves with the arguments of Okoro.
Counsel to INEC, Mr Anthony Adeniyi, on his part, said that Melaye had failed to show the court the particular signatories on the petition to which the death certificates attached as exhibit belonged.
“If he attached death certificates, he should tell the court that this certificate for example, belongs to signature number 24 on the petition, but he failed to do that.”
Justice Dimgba adjourned the matter until Sept. 11 for judgment.
The judge also fixed Sept.11to deliver judgment in a suit filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC), also seeking to stop Melaye’s recall.
The judge consolidated the two suits to avoid having conflicting judgments since the subject of both suits were similar.