Ekweremadu: Melaye’s recall move futile without Senate

  • 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.


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