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Melaye’s Recall: INEC Withdraws Motion For Substituted Service.

Melaye's Recall: INEC Withdraws Motion For Substituted Service
Melaye’s Recall: INEC Withdraws Motion For Substituted Service
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday withdrew its motion seeking a court order to serve the recall petition on Sen. Dino Melaye through substituted means rather than personal service.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba struck out the motion following an oral application by INEC’s counsel, Yunus Ustas (SAN), to withdraw the motion.

Dimgba also directed that all applications relating to the petition be henceforth resolved at the Court of Appeal.

It will be recalled that Justice Dimgba Igwe on September 11, 2017, in it’s ruling ordered INEC to continue it’s plan to recall  Sen. Dino Melaye after dismissing Melaye’s suit that sought to to stop his recall by INEC.

The judge however ordered INEC to forward a copy of the said petition it received from Melaye’s constituency, signatories, including the full list of petitioners to Melaye and time table for verification.

But efforts by the electoral body to serve the court’s order on the senator proved abortive as he was alleged to have been evading service.

Consequently, INEC in an application dated September 15, 2017, approached the court for an order of substituted service on Melaye.

Melaye’s counsel, Nkem Okoro, who said he was holding brief for Mike Ozekhome (SAN), urged the court to divest itself of jurisdiction in all applications relating to the matter on the grounds that appeal had been entered at the Court of Appeal.

Okoro argued that it would amount to judicial impertinent for the judge to continue with any application relating to the issue.

Responding, INEC’s counsel who claimed he was just served with the record of the appeal argued that ordinarily, the judge should hands off from any application related to the matter if it were ordinary cases. He said since the matter, the referendum is election related the court cannot be restrained.

It was at this point that INEC counsel applied to withdraw the ex parte motion and filed the necessary application.
“I concede to the point made by my lord and I want to withdraw the motion ex parte dated September 15 2017,” Ustas said.

Justice Dimgba then struck out the exparte motion at No cost following it’s withdrawal by INEC’s counsel.
The judge said: “In the face of uncleared evidences of the record of appeal, it is better that all applications relating to the matter be resolved at the Appeal Court”.


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