Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday adjourned hearing on the suit seeking to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from initiating the process of recalling Senator Dino Melaye to August 11,2017.
The judge adjourned to the said date after he ruled on the application seeking the consolidation of two different suits to stop INEC from going ahead with the planned recall of Melaye, who represents Kogi West senatorial district in the National Assembly.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, Justice Dimgba before hearing the application brought by Olatunji Atoyebi, seek to consolidate a suit filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kogi chapter against INEC, had joined some interested parties to the suit.
In the suit filed by the Kogi State APC, the party is praying the court to declare that the recall process initiated vide a purported petition against its sponsored member of the Senate by some of his constituents, pursuant to Section 69 of the 1999 Constitution, is illegal, unlawful and of no effect whatsoever for being contrary and in contravention to the rules of natural justice and constitutionally guaranteed right to fair hearing under section 36 of the 1999 Constitution.
Chief Olowo Cornelius, John Ajorin and Mallam Yusuf Adamu (the petitioners) had sought to be joined as co-defendants, while Michael Olowoleyemo, Afolabi Lydia Olufunke, Mrs. Iyabose Owolabi, Sanya Grace Folake, Salihu and Abubakar Abdullahi, who identified themselves as registered voters from Kogi West, applied to be joined as co-plaintiff.
However, delivering ruling on the applications argued by Anthony Adeniyi for parties to be joined as defendants and Ponsak Bigun representing co- plantiff, the court held that joining the parties was for “effectual and complete” adjudication of the matter.
The court held that it was in the interest of justice that the parties be joined since the issue at stake affects their interests.
However, the court dismissed Melaye’s contention that the applicants did not exhibit their voters card to show that they were authentic electorate from Kogi West.
On the application by APC’s lawyer, which was formerly before Justice John Tsoho, the court said it was minded to accept the case file in order to avoid conflicting judgments, since the reliefs are the same.
Also, the court granted Melaye’s request to amend his originating summons, while directing all parties to file and exchange processes.
The embattled senator had approached the court to declare that the petition presented by his constituents to INEC to recall him was illegal, unlawful, wrongful, unconstitutional, invalid, null and void and of no effect in law.