The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal on Friday dismissed an appeal by Kogi West Senator, Dino Melaye, challenging the validity of the process of his recall embarked upon by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The unanimous judgment of a three-man panel of the appeal court also dismissed the suit which Melaye had filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja to challenge the validity of the recall process.
With the Court of Appeal’s dismissal of the suit, the preconditions earlier given by the Federal High Court in Abuja for INEC to fulfill before continuing the recall had been set aside.
The appeal court’s judgment has therefore paved the way for INEC to continue the recall process which had been stalled since June 23, 2017 when Melaye commenced the suit.
The court ruled that contrary to Melaye’s contention, the 90 days provided by the 1999 Constitution for the recall process to be concluded had not run out but had been paused since July 6, 2017, when Justice Tsoho of the Federal High Court made an order halting the process.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court in Abuja, to whom the case was later reassigned, had in his judgment delivered on September 11, 2017, dismissed Melaye’s suit, but gave a pre-condition for INEC to continue with the recall exercise.
As the pre-condition for the process to continue INEC, ordered the electoral body to serve the senator with the recall petition and the accompanying documents, including the signatures of the about one-half of the constituents calling for his (Melaye’s) recall.
But Melaye had appealed against the Federal High Court’s judgment.
But delivering the lead judgment of the Court of Appeal on Friday, Justice Tunde Awotoye, substantially affirmed the judgment of Justice Dimgba but held that the Federal High Court ought not to have heard the case as the suit did not disclose any cause of action against INECSome persons were feared killed as Yoruba and Hausa youths clashed at Gida Panli, Kotomola, in the Ojota New Garage area of Lagos State.
It was learnt that the clash broke out on Thursday after a Hausa youth reportedly beat up his Yoruba counterpart over a misunderstanding.
Some area boys in the area were said to have avenged the assault on the Yoruba youth, leading to the clash which spilled over to Friday morning.
Our correspondent learnt that several motorcycles were destroyed in the melee while commercial activities in the neighborhood were paralysed.
Police have been drafted to the troubled spot to restore normalcy.
“There was a misunderstanding yesterday (Thursday) between a Yoruba and Hausa youth. The Hausa guy reported him to some area boys in the area and they settled the issue.
“Afterwards, he went to attack the Yoruba man and beat him up. That made the area boys to be angry. They attacked the Hausa man and the clash started. Traders had to vacate the area and many Hausa people had been chased away.
“I learnt some people were killed, but I am not sure of the number yet. Police have been trying to restore normalcy,” a commercial driver in the area, Wale Ajayi, said.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Chike Oti, confirmed the clash and promised to get back to our correspondent with further details.