In a judicial bid to save his seat, Senator Dino Melaye, on Friday dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, seeking an order restraining the electoral body from conducting any referendum aimed at recalling him.
The INEC had in a statement on Thursday said it had formally informed Melaye of petitions filed by its constituents to recall him and fixed July 3 to begin the recall process.
However, Melaye in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/587/2017 filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja said the process undertaking by his constituents was unconstitutional because it is malicious and fraudulent.
In an Originating Summons he filed through his lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, the embattled lawmaker prayed the court to declare that the petition presented to INEC for his recall was illegal, unlawful, wrongful, unconstitutional, invalid, null and void and of no effect in law.
He also wants 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.
The affidavit of urgency deposed to by a litigation secretary in the law firm of Ozekhome, Mr. Usman Salihu, states, “That he has also asked for injunctive relieves restraining the defendant from acting on the said petition.
“That except this matter is assigned and granted accelerated hearing, the res in issue in this matter might be destroyed.
“That this court is urged most humbly to assign this suit as a matter of grave urgency and grant accelerated hearing therein.”
In an unprecedented exercise, voters in Kogi West Senatorial District signed a petition for Mr. Melaye’s recall on June 10.
Should Melaye’s recall succeed, he would be the first senator ever recalled in Nigeria’s history.