The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has withdrawn its motion seeking an order of the Federal High Court in Abuja to allow it to serve the recall petition on Senator Dino Melaye through substituted means rather than personal service.

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

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

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

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

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

Melaye’s recall process which the commission said it started following petitions by over half of the members of the senator’s constituency, had been suspended by the same court in July.

The suspension followed an appeal by Melaye challenging the authenticity of the recall process, and alleging a plot by Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello to remove him.

According to Melaye, the petitions allegedly signed by over half of the members of his constituency in Kogi-west Local government area is rife with fake signatures.

Melaye had asked the court to stop the recall process, on the grounds that he (Melaye), was not given a chance to defend himself on the allegations contained in the said petition before the process began.

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