Recall saga: INEC wants Melaye served petitions through substituted means

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has asked Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court in Abuja to allow it serve the senator representing Kogi West in the National Assembly, Dino Melaye, the petition requesting his recall through what it termed ‘substituted means.’

Recall that 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.

However, INEC, through its lawyer, Mr. Olawale Ibrahim, told the judge on Monday that all its attempts to serve the senator personally, as ordered by the court on September 11, had been futile.

Ibrahim, 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 office at the National Assembly.

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Meanwhile, a counsel, Nkem Okoro of the law firm of Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Melaye’s lead counsel, told the judge that the senator had been away from the country, saying that he would return to the country between September 25 and 26 when the National Assembly resumes.

The judge, in his response, said he was informed on Monday morning of arrival of a motion ex parte by INEC for substituted service of the petition.

He, therefore, directed that INEC make “one more attempt at personal service on Melaye or through his counsel.”

The judge noted that “only if that fails” could he be disposed to taking the INEC’s ex parte application.

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