After he celebrated his victory in July, a Federal High Court has ruled that the process for recalling Dino Melaye can be continued.
The Nigerian political scene is one big movie with a hundred plot twists and characters that have no idea where they fit in the larger picture. Ordinarily, it is difficult to find a place in this chaos but one person manages to stand out.
Dino Melaye, the senator representing Kogi North is the gift that keeps on giving. His most recent love offering to the Nigerian people has come, not from his words or dance moves, but from the Nigerian court system.
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ruled that the Dino Melaye recall process which kicked off on June 2, 2017, can now continue.
Justice John Tsoho of the court had earlier halted the process in a ruling dated July 6, 2017.
The saga started when 188, 580 constituents from Melaye’s senatorial district signed a petition requesting for the senator’s recall, in line with the process outlined by the laws and the Independent National Electoral Commission.
After the signatures were gathered, Melaye’s lawyers brought a motion seeking to end the process for his recall.
In that instance, Justice Tsoho ruled that the recall process be halted, by issuing an interlocutory injunction.
An injunction is a court order that precludes or commands a person to do or restrain from doing an act. When an interlocutory injunction is given, it means the court has ordered a party to do or preclude from doing something until a particular event occurs, until a motion is settled or a later date.
Perhaps his lawyers were unaware or something was lost in translation, but Dino found enough reason to celebrate, calling out his opponents, also fondly referred to as “haters”, pointing out that he had prevailed on the day.
On August 11, 2017, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja fixed September 11 as the date to deliver judgement on the pending application.
Today, September 11, 2017, the same court sitting has now ruled that the process for Melaye’s recall can now continue.
It would appear that Melaye’s victory dance came a bit too early.
While the senator’s behaviour is not new in any manner, it speaks to a bigger part of his character that has earned him an unsavoury reputation among the Nigerian electorate.
Melaye may be a lawmaker on paper but the Kogi senator is a showman more than anything else.
His needless tirades, selfies, unsolicited visits and Instagram videos have gained him important publicity, but in these unnecessary moments of exposure, the senator often ends up getting in his own way.
Many commentators point to his run-in with Mrs Remi Tinubu and his trip to Bourdillon Road as the major turning points in a previously cordial relationship with the APC power core.
While his reactions have made for good content, it is clear that humour is no longer part of the equation.
At London’s Notting Hill carnival, Melaye was loudly booed by Nigerians and Africans in the crowd. He had come on the stage to address his fans and sing one of his ill-advised compositions to the crowd.
Instead, he was booed in the diaspora by people who have no knowledge of him beyond what he has put out in the media: loud rants, petty inter-state trips and “Ajeku iya ni o je”.
For a senator with clear ambition, it is clear that Dino started dancing way before the music started.
If the recall process continues as proposed, he may never get the chance to redeem himself.