The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed a suit by Senator Dino Melaye challenging his recall from the Senate.
In a judgment delivered on Monday, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to proceed with the recall process.
Melaye represents Kogi West Senatorial District in the National Assembly.
Aggrieved members of his constituency had in June submitted a petition bearing 188,588 signatures to INEC demanding his recall.
Following the submission of the petition, INEC fixed August 19 for a verification exercise to determine if Melaye’s constituents really wanted him out of the upper legislative chamber.
But the lawmaker went to court to challenge the process of his recall. He alleged that some of the signatures attached to the petition for his recall were those of dead people.
In July, Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja asked all the parties in the suit – INEC and Melaye – to maintain the status quo until September 14 when he would hear the matter. The court then went on vacation.
Dimgba, another judge of the Federal High Court, who is presiding all through the period of the judicial vacation, on Monday, dismissed Melaye’s suit, and asked INEC to proceed with the process of his recall.
He also asked INEC to serve the lawmaker a copy of the petition and a list of petitioners, and that it should amend its timetable and give him a two-week notice.
The timetable would give the embattled senator time frame to prepare his defence.