Court grants accelerated hearing of Dino’s recall suit

Dino Melaye

• Okays joinder applications
The Federal High Court, Abuja has ordered an accelerated hearing of the suit seeking to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from proceeding with Senator Dino Melaye’s recall.

It also granted the application by Chief Olowo Cornelius, John Ajorin and Mallam Yusuf Adamu to be joined as co-defendants.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba sanctioned Michael Olowoleyemo’s request as co-plaintiff.

He, however, asked them to file all their papers in respect of the substantive suit before August 7 the next hearing date.

When the matter came up yesterday, Justice Dimgba requested that counsel to the defendant and plaintiff, Sulayman Ibrahim and Nkem Okoro to address the court.

Responding, Ibrahim prayed the court to give the summons filed by the senator an accelerated hearing in view of the 90-day constitutional timeline for the exercise. But the judge inquired if the deadline would still stand if the basis for the recall were faulted to which, he responded, sacrosanct.

Okoro, on his part, said his counter-affidavit and averments were not denied by the defendant. He added that INEC, which waited three weeks before responding to Melaye’s suit, could not suddenly backtracked.

In his brief ruling, Justice Dimgba agreed with the commission that the matter be heard speedily.

The vacation judge, however, could not proceed to hear the substantive matter or filed by INEC. The electoral umpire is seeking to vacate the interim exparte order restraining it from continuing with the exercise. The application was granted by Justice John Tsoho of same court.

One of the reasons being that two lawyers – Anthony Adeniyi and Ponsak Bigun – had announced appearance for the parties to be joined, and as such, needed time to file their papers.

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