Ekweremadu: Melaye’s recall move futile without Senate

Dino Melaye

The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has said that the ongoing move to recall Senator Dino Melaye would be an exercise in futility if those orchestrating his recall fail to convince lawmakers why the senator should be recalled.

Making his contribution on a point of order raised by Senator Melaye to notify the Senate of the recall moves, Ekweremadu urged the  Senate not to dissipate  effort on a process that is tantamount to a waste of time.

While listing the procedure involved in recalling a senator, the Deputy President of the Senate said that section 69 of the 1999 Constitution as amended says  those who signed the recall register would have to come out and line up to verify their signatures.

He said that an amendment  to the process of recall was effected in 2010 adding that those behind the purported recall of Senator Melaye were only relying on the section of the constitution without taking into reckoning the amendment.

He went on to stress that the reason for the amendment was to ensure that state governors do not become so powerful such that they could not be criticised by their representatives in the National Assembly.

He added that after the verification and other relevant processes, they would still have to convince the lawmakers on why the Senator needed to be recalled.

Earlier while raising the point of order, Melaye said that the recall register was signed by persons who have already been declared dead adding that some people have even come out to deny their signatures.

He claimed  that some of those who purportedly signed the register were deceived into signing by the State governor who is the mastermind of the recall.

“The names and signatures on the recall register was forged by Kogi state officials and Governor Yahaya Bello is the one sponsoring the recall for malicious purposes.

“The total score of both valid and invalid vote of nine candidates is 118,000 but my governor and his appointees in four days claimed that they got over 188,000 signatures.

“No where in my constituency did they sit to receive people’s signatures, they got INEC database for registered voters and copied in one hand writing and forged all the signatures.

“As I speak to you, I have over 120 death certificates issued by the National Population Commission, and these peoples relatives and families have sworn to affidavits but the names of all these dead people appeared on the recall register submitted to INEC.

Mr President, 116 of my constituents have also sworn to affidavits that their names and signatures which appeared on the recall register were forged .

“Over 86 of my constituents have stated that they were approached that the government wanted to carry out a fertiliser empowerment programme and requested for their PVCs and were thereby deceived into putting their names on the register.

“All these affidavits have been submitted to INEC and the court,” he said.

He said that his only sin was that he asked the governor to pay 17 months salary and pension to workers who deserve their wages.

He stressed that it was wrong for the state to be spending so much money on the recall process when such money can pay salaries and allowances.

The senator therefore called on his colleagues to ensure that they do not allow a wrong precedence to be set in a democratic setting like Nigeria.

credit: NAN