Tue, Oct 03, 2023

Melaye's recall: They are just wasting precious time, it's an exercise in futility - Senate

Melaye's recall: They are just wasting precious time, it's an exercise in futility - Senate

The Senate has faulted the move by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recall Dino Melaye from his position as Senator representing Kogi-West Constituency.

This was sequel to a point of order raised by Melaye on the floor of the upper legislative chamber.

Voters from Melaye’s Senatorial District had requested INEC to recall  him over non-performance as a legislator.

The INEC had on Monday released its time table for the notice and verification of the recall.

According to Melaye, the election that brought him to office, “the total score of both valid and invalid votes for nine candidates was 118,000 but my governor and his appointees in four days claim they got a signatures of over 188,000.

“No where in my constituency did they seek to receive people’s signature because INEC’s data base for registered voters was copied in one writing into a recall register and all the signatures forged.

“I have over 120 dead certificates issued by the National Population Commission and these people’s relations and families have sworn to affidavit and these certificates have been deposited.

“The names of all these dead people appeared on the recall register submitted to INEC. One hundred and sixteen of my constituents also have sworn to affidavit that though their names and signatures appeared in the recall register, they were not the ones that signed the document.

“Another 86 of my constituents have sworn to an affidavit that they were approached that the government wanted to carry out a fertiliser empowerment programme and requested for their Permanent Voters Card. They were thereby deceived into putting their names in the recall register.”

According to Melaye, the recall is not by his constituents but by the state government.

He therefore called on Governor Yahaya Bello to pay 17 month-salary and pension owed civil servants in the state as a labourer was worthy of his wages.

Contributing, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu said “I am wondering why we are dissipating energy on this matter and wasting precious legislative time on a matter we should not.

“What is happening in Kogi, in respect of Dino Melaye, as far as this constitution is concerned, is an exercise in futility.

“They are just wasting precious time because the constitution is clear on what should happen. It is possible that the Attorney- General of Kogi State has not advised them properly.

“If he has done that, i am sure they would have applied their time to more meaningful ventures in Kogi. The process of recall is the equivalent of impeachment of Executive positions.

“To avoid the abuse of impeachment, they made it very strict, provisions and procedures were made on how impeachment can take place. That is why people are not taking that route of removing governors by impeachment.”

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki said “ as they say 10 years is no joke in leadership, the Deputy President of the Senate has explained the processes.

“Let the process speak for itself. I really don’t know why a lot of efforts are being wasted that should have gone on more important things. Eventually it must come back here for us to consider whether it is satisfactory,” Saraki said.


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