The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has described the recall process of Kogi Senator, Dino Melaye as a waste of time.
Speaking at plenary on Tuesday, July 4, 2017, Melaye, representing Kogi West senatorial district, cited order 14, repeating his allegations against the state Governor, Yahaya Bello, as the sponsor of the recall campaign.
He asked the Senate to act as the campaign is a manipulated process riddled with illegal acts.
According to the senator, “The total score of both valid and invalid vote is 118,000 but my governors and his appointees in four days claim they got a signature of over 188,000.
“They got INEC database of registered voters and copied in one writing into a recall register and forged all the signature.
“As I speak to you, 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. 116 of my constituency have sworn to an affidavit that their names and signatures appeared in the recall registers and they are not the ones that signed it.
“86 of my constituents have sworn to an affidavit that they were approached that the government wants to carry out a fertiliser empowerment programme and requested for their PVCs and thereby deceived into putting their names in the recall register.
“I am only asking my governor to pay the wages of its workers because a labourer is worthy of its wages. They have been spending money on the pages of newspapers that they want to recall Dino Melaye. This recall is not by my constituents but by the state government.
“This orchestration, injustice, lies, malicious manifestations by my governor must not be entertained in a democracy not because it is Dino Melaye. It could be anybody.”
In response, Ekweremadu said the exercise is bound to fail, saying the Kogi people should apply “their time to more meaningful ventures”.
He 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 Senator 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 had done that, I am sure they would have applied their time to more meaningful ventures in Kogi state.
“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.”
Senate President, Bukola Saraki also responded to the issue, backing up his deputy.
According to him, “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 decide whether it is satisfactory.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, took delivery of signatures from electorates in Kogi state for the senator’s recall.
Yesterday, the commission released the timetable and guidelines for the recall which will be concluded with the declaration of the outcome of verification by August 19, 2017.