Recall: INEC Seeks Substitute Service On Senator Melaye | The Precision

The Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) had asked
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court Abuja, to allow it serve
the senator representing Kogi West, in the National Assembly, Dino
Melaye, the petition requesting his recall and other accompanying
documents, through substituted means. 


Justice Dimgba had in his judgment
delivered on September 11, 2017, permitted INEC to proceed with the
exercise of verifying the signatures of the 188,588 registered voters
who were said to have signed in support of the recall process.
Th e judge also ordered that the senator be served with the recall
petition and other accompanying documents as a pre-condition for
commencement of the verifi cation exercise.
But, counsel to the INEC, Mr. Olawale Ibrahim, had told the judge
that all its attempts to serve the senator personally, as ordered by the
court had been successful. Th e counsel, in an ex parte application,
sought the court’s order directing substituted means of serving the
senator by dumping the documents in front of Melaye’s offi ce at the
National Assembly. 
Reacting to the application, Nkem Okoro of the law fi
rm of Mike Ozekhome, (SAN), Melaye’s lead counsel, informed the judge
that the senator had been away from the country.
He, therefore, informed the court that Mr. Melaye, would return to
the country between September 25 and 26, when the National Assembly
would resume. Mr. Okoro also told the judge that the senator had fi led
separate motions, seeking the stay of execution of the court’s judgment
delivered on September 11 and challenging the jurisdiction of the court
to hear INEC’s ex parte motion.
Justice Dimgba, in his response, said he was just informed of arrival
of a motion ex parte by INEC for substituted service of the petition
that morning. Th e judge, however, directed that INEC to make “one more
attempt at personal service on Melaye or through his counsel.” 
He noted
that “only if that fails” would he be disposed to taking the INEC’s ex
parte application. Counsel to both parties then agreed that the matter
be adjourned until September 28 “for report of service and/ or hearing
of the ex parte and all pending applications in the unlikely event that
personal service still fails.” 
Meanwhile, Melaye had appealed against
the judgment of the Federal High Court.
Source: Blueprint

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