The vacation Judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, on Monday consolidated two separate suits seeking to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from initiating the process of recalling Senator Dino Melaye, the lawmaker representing Kogi West in the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly.
Earlier yesterday before hearing the application brought by Olatunji Atoyebi, seeking to consolidate a suit filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kogi chapter against INEC, Justice Dimgba had joined some interested parties to the suit.
The APC in the consolidated suit is asking the court to declare that the recall process initiated vide a petition against their sponsored member of the Senate by some of his constituents, pursuant to Section 69 of the 1999 Constitution is illegal, unlawful and contrary to the rules of natural justice and constitutionally guaranteed right to fair hearing under section 36 of the 1999 Constitution.
The joinder applicants, Chief Olowo Cornelius, John Ajorin and Mallam Yusuf Adamu 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-plaintiffs.
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.
Justice Dimgba also noted that it was in the interest of justice that the parties be joined since the issue at stake affects their interests.
But the court dismissed Melaye’s contention that the applicants did not exhibit their voters card to show that they were authentic electorates from Kogi West.
On the application by APC’s lawyer, which was formerly before Justice John Tsoho, the judge said he was minded to accept the case file in order to avoid conflicting judgments, since the reliefs are the same.
The judge also granted Melaye’s request to amend his originating summons, while directing all parties to file and exchange processes.
The matter has been adjourned till Friday for further hearing.
Melaye is asking the court to hold that the petition his constituents presented to INEC for his recall is illegal and illegal.