…..As Kogi govt denies involvement in court ruling on embattled Senator
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is to release a revised timetable and reschedule of activities in respect of the petition for the recall of the Kogi West Senator National Assembly, Mr Dino Melaye on Monday, 18th September, this year.
This was confirmed in a press statement issued last night by the Commission and signed by one of its National Commissioners and member, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mallam Mohammed Haruna.
The Daily Times recalls that INEC, in obedience to an interlocutory order of the Federal High Court in Abuja, given on 6th July, 2017, stayed all actions relating to the matter.
Judgement was however delivered on the case on Monday, September 11, 2017, during which the Commission was given the go ahead to commence the process of the recall of the Senator as all legal hurdles surrounding it were cleared.
“Accordingly,, and in compliance with the orders of the court, the Commission will release a revised timetable and schedule of activities on Monday 18th September, 2017”, the statement by INEC said.
In another development, the Commission has approved the commencement of public enlightenment programmes on radio in all the 36 States of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
The acting Chairman of INEC, Prince Adedeji Shoyebi who disclosed this in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, explained that the commission had approved the project with a view to promoting knowledge of sound democratic processes ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Shoyebi spoke at a meeting with the heads of voter education and publicity division from all the states of the federation and FCT.
He advised that state offices should maximally utilize the programmes to satisfy voter needs through the provision of local but standardized contents.
In a related development, the Kogi State Government has denied the allegation raised by Melaye who claimed the government is involved in a ruling that ordered the recommencement of his recall process.
Melaye had on Monday alleged complicity on the part of the state government, citing the presence of the Attorney General of Kogi, Ibrahim Muhammad at the Federal High Court where the court gave a legal nod to the process of his recall.
However, the state government in a statement released by its Director General on Media and Publicity to the Governor, Kingsley Fanwo, on Tuesday distanced itself from the lawmaker’s accusations.
Fanwo said; “We saw the tweet by the Senator that the Attorney General of the State was at the Federal High Court today where the court gave a legal nod to the process of his recall.
“To set the record straight, neither the Attorney General nor any state official was at the said court today. We are not a party to the suit which was between the Senator and INEC. We urge the Senator to face realities in his battle with the people of his constituency.
“We consider such falsehood unnecessary as we have no interest in the issues that were determined. The Attorney General is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a sound legal luminary who is never known for defending fraud and corruption; a man who is highly respected in legal circles.
“The Attorney General of the State was busy attending meetings both in his office and Government House today. He was busy with official duties.
“We urge our law enforcement agencies to ensure that those jubilating over the outcome of the legal battle do so within the ambit of the law without jeopardizing the public peace.”