An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Monday dismissed an application filed by a senator, Dino Melaye, against his planned recall.
Mr. Melaye had approached the court in July to challenge a decision of Nigeria’s electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to commence a process for his recall, following petitions filed by members of the Kogi West senatorial constituency where the lawmaker represents.
The court had ordered a suspension of the recall process, following Mr. Melaye’s application, but directed on Tuesday that the process should continue, after deciding that the application lacked merit.
The presiding judge, Nnamdi Dimgba, ruled that the electorate whose petition resulted in the recall had a right to request the removal of their senator from office since they are the ones who “gifted the position of the said office” to Mr. Melaye.
“The electorate voted the senator into office, they gifted him the office and they have the right to take back what they gifted.
“It is also important to know that going by the electoral laws, the members of the constituency do not owe the senator any right to inform him of their lack of confidence in him. All they owe is to inform the body, which will inform the senator in a manner deemed appropriate for him to prepare to defend himself,” Mr Dimgba said.
Citing electoral laws of the United States, the judge added that the law does mandate the electorate to exhibit its right of franchise, “only in good fate.”
“The electorate can vote for any reason, good or bad, the same rule applies for a recall process. Electoral constituents can act in a way they deem fit. It is beyond the powers of the court to determine how they (the constituency) can exhibit that right.”
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