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Dino Melaye’s recall suit transferred to appeal court



The motion seeking an order of the Federal High Court in Abuja allowing it to serve the recall petition on Kogi West Senator, Dino Melaye has been withdrawn by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba struck out the motion after INEC’s lawyer, Mr Yunus Ustaz (SAN), announced the withdrawal in court on Thursday.

The judge also directed that all issues about the case should after that be taken to the Court of Appeal.

He noted that since Melaye’s appeal against the September 11 judgment of the court had been entered at the Court of Appeal, all pending applications, including the one filed by Melaye for the stay of execution of the verdict, should be taken to the appellate court.

He added that his judgment being on a “novel” issue of recall in the Nigerian courts, it was better to be allowed to be resolved by the Court of Appeal.

INEC had, on September 15, filed the ex parte motion, seeking substituted service of the recall petition on Melaye, following an alleged refusal of the Senator to accept service of the petition and other accompanying documents as earlier ordered by the court on September 11.

Ustaz also maintained on Thursday that Melaye had been “dodging” service, even as it was widely reported that an attempt by INEC to serve Melaye during the Senate’s plenary on Tuesday also failed.

The INEC lawyer had earlier, on Thursday, urged Justice Dimgba to hear the commission’s ex parte motion for substituted service, but Melaye’s counsel, Mr Nkem Okoro, opposed the hearing on the grounds that the court no longer had jurisdiction to hear any application concerning the case since his client’s appeal against the September 11 judgment of the court had been “entered” at the Court of Appeal.

But the INEC lawyer later, in the course of the proceedings, withdrew the motion after the judge raised some questions about the propriety of the ex parte motion filed after the court had finally disposed of the case by delivering judgment on September 11.

Justice Dimgba had noted that Order 6 of the Federal High Court Rules, under which INEC filed the ex parte motion, presupposed that there was a pending case.

The judge explained that judgment, having been delivered in the case, the filing of an ex parte motion was not the appropriate means of enforcing the judgment.

Ustaz initially insisted that the judge had the power to go on with the hearing of the motion, but later agreed with the judge and withdrew the motion after conferring with other lawyers in his team.

It was then struck out by the judge.

Justice Dimgba had, in his judgment delivered on September 11, dismissed Melaye’s suit challenging the validity of the recall process, but made it a pre-condition for the exercise to commence, that the electoral body must 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.

Earlier on Thursday, Melaye’s lawyer was the first to address the judge, saying the matter was ordinarily slated for a hearing of pending applications.

But he said, “The record of appeal has been transmitted to the Court of Appeal and the appeal duly entered in line with Order 4 (10) and (11) of the Court of Appeal rules.

“Upon the entering of the appeal, the trial court is divested of the jurisdiction to continue adjudicating or entertaining the further application in respect of the matter.”

He then tendered the document showing that the appeal had been entered by the Court of Appeal and served a copy on INEC’s lawyer.

“We urge your lordship, most respectfully, to divest yourself from hearing any further application in this matter, as any such application will be made by the appellate court,” he said.

But in response, Ustaz acknowledged that he had just been served with the document relating to the appeal, maintaining that the referendum, which formed the hub of the case, had a special status like one revolving round an election.

He cited Section 156 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) to back his argument that a referendum had the same status as an election.

He conceded that in ordinary cases, “the entering of an appeal robs the lower court of its jurisdiction to proceed further with any other application about the matter”.

While attacking the legality of the document tendered by Melaye’s lawyer on the basis that it was not certified, Ustaz said, “There is no evidence before your lordship that the appeal had been entered.”

It was after hearing both lawyers that the judge raised the question of the propriety of the ex parte motion filed by INEC.

Source: ( Punch Newspaper )

National News

Wike Signs Executive Order Proscribing IPOB, Lifts Curfew



Wike Signs Executive Order Proscribing IPOB, Lifts Curfew
Wike Signs Executive Order Proscribing IPOB, Lifts Curfew

Nyesom wike

Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has signed an executive order to reinforce the ban on Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and its activities in the State.

Governor Wike disclosed he has signed an executive order proscribing IPOB in Rivers during a state broadcast on Wednesday night, a day IPOB worldwide leader, Nnamdi Kanu, referred to him as a “little Hitler.”

Governor Wike stressed during the broadcast that while Rivers remains the home to all tribes and ethnic nationalities, the state government is opposed to the presence and activities of the legally proscribed and anarchic IPOB and whatever it stands for in the south-south state.

Also Read: FG building new airports in Benue, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Lafia, Damaturu, Anambra: Minister

The Rivers State governor said while his administration acknowledges and appreciate the enormous contributions from non-indigenes to the political, social, and economic development of the State, it will neither accept nor allow any individual or group from within and outside to violate the peace, endanger lives and property under any guise in the State.

Recall that the Governor had earlier lifted a ban on movement which had been imposed in some parts of the state.

Some of the areas include Mile 1, Mile 2, Ilabuchi, Ikokwu areas among others.

Wike however said the curfew in Oyigbo Local Government Area stile remains while the Ikokwu market remains shut.

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National News

Ogun Governor Orders Full Reopening Of Businesses, Others



#EndSARS: Abiodun Orders Release Of Ogun Protesters Charged To Court
Ogun Governor Orders Full Reopening Of Businesses, Others

Governor Dapo Abiodun

Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State has ordered the full reopening of hotels, viewing centres, marquees, event centres, suites, guest houses, and motels.

Others in that category are restaurants, eateries, lounges, bars, and cinemas.

Recall that in the wake of the deadly Coronavirus, Dapo Abiodun ordered the closure of those establishments to avoid the spread of disease.

Also Read: Lekki tollgate should be dismantled permanently: Bode George

This was contained in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, on Wednesday.

The Ogun governor said those in the industry should open for business fully.

Somorin also revealed that schools, markets, churches, and mosques in Ogun have been asked to revert to their regular programme of activities as obtained before COVID-19.

However, Somorin urged the hospitality establishments to strictly adhere to a set of guidelines in order to keep up with the protocols aimed at further flattening the curve of COVID-19.

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Lekki Shootings: Why Families Of Victims Are Afraid To Speak Out —Falana



Soldiers were ordered to shoot protesters – Femi Falana (Video)
Lekki Shootings: Why Families Of Victims Are Afraid To Speak Out —Falana

Femi Falana

Popular human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) has said family members of those affected by the Lekki toll gate shooting have refused to speak about the incident.

The senior lawyer claimed that the families refused to speak “because of the environment under which we operate.”

He stated this while speaking at a virtual #EndSARS meeting organised by Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters, on Wednesday.

Falana who stated that the military is “known for lies and deception,” recalled how the Nigerian Army allegedly covered up the reported killing of 347 Shi’ites in Zaria, Kaduna state, in 2015.

Falana said, “Nobody should believe the military because it has a history of lies, fraud, and deception.

Also Read: Lekki tollgate should be dismantled permanently: Bode George

“Just in December 2015, the same Chief of Army Staff, General (Tukur) Buratai claimed that there was a traffic jam in Zaria and the big man wanted to move and because of that traffic, he got soldiers from the first division in Kaduna to mow down Shiites.

“And what was the explanation? That the Shiites wanted to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff…and about six or seven persons died.

“But in the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Kaduna State Government, we were told that indeed 347 Nigerians were killed by the military. No autopsy, no postmortem, nothing was done. Their bodies were taken away in the dead of the night and given a mass burial.

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