Court dismisses INEC’s motion for substituted service


By Idebaneria Cynthia

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday struck out a motion for substituted service filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against Senator Dino Melaye.

The court’s decision followed request by INEC’s lawyer, Yunus Usman (SAN), to withdraw the motion after realising that it was not the right application to make at the current stage of the case.

INEC, in a motion dated September 15, 2017, sought the court’s permission to serve through substituted means, the petition for Senator Dino Melaye’s recall as ordered by the court on September 11.

ALSO SEE: The unfolding drama in Senator Dino Melaye’s case

Ruling on the fundamental rights suit filed by Melaye, the court ordered INEC to serve Melaye with the petition for his recall, accompanying signatures and other documents relating to the process. INEC had filed the motion ex-parte, citing the inability of its officials to personally serve the documents to Melaye personally.

It alleged that Melaye had been evading service, a development that necessitated the application for substituted service.
When the parties got to court on

Thursday, Melaye’s lawyer, Ikem Okoro, said his client’s appeal against the September 11 judgment has been entered, adding that the court could no longer take steps on the case.

The judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba said since the court has given its final judgment on the case, it would not entertain any new applications, particularly when the appeal against the judgment has been entered at the Appeal Court.

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