A FEDERAL High Court in Abuja was told yesterday that the appeal against the judgment on the recall of Senator representing Kogi West Dino Melaye has been entered at the Appeal Court.
The court also struck out an ex-parte motion for substituted service filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The court’s decision was informed by the request by INEC’s lawyer, Yunus Usman (SAN), to withdraw the motion on realising that it was not the right application to make at the present stage in the case.
INEC had, by the motion dated September 15, sought the court’s permission to serve, through substituted means, the petition for the recall of Melaye and related documents on him as ordered by the court in its September 11 judgment.
The court had, in its judgment on the fundamental rights suit, with which Melaye challenged the recall process, ordered INEC to serve Melaye with the petition for his recall, accompanying signatures and other documents relating to his recall process.
INEC had filed the motion ex-parte, citing the inability of its officials to personally serve the documents on Melaye personally. It alleged that Melaye had been evading service, a development that necessitated the resort to substituted service.
When parties got to court yesterday, lawyer to Melaye, Ikem Okoro, said his client’s appeal against the September 11 judgment has been entered and that the court could no longer take further steps on the case, including hearing applications.
But, at a point and upon the judge’s intervention, Usman applied to withdraw his motion of September 15 to enable him file a proper one.
The judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, had noted that since the court has given its final judgment on the case, it could no longer entertain any new applications, particularly when the appeal against the judgment has been entered at the Appeal Court.
He said since the order directing INEC to serve Melaye with recall petition and accompanying documents, he (Melaye) was bound by the order and he was under obligation to accept service.