We will Determine Melaye’s Fate : Senate
The Senate on Tuesday indicated that the fate of Senator Dino Melaye who is currently being threatened by a recall in his constituency in Kogi West would ultimately be determined by all 109 Senators.
This is as the upper legislative chamber urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to submit a virement request from its 2017 Appropriation for the funding of the recall process to guard against extra budgetary spending.
Melaye, raising a point of order at plenary, had informed the Senate of what he described as a plot orchestrated by Kogi State Governor, Mr. Yahaya Bello, to recall him.
He noted that some of the constituents, whose signatures were captured in the register have sworn to affidavits that they never signed the register.
“86 of the signatories, have also sworn affidavits that their Personal Voters Cards, (PVCS) were collected on the premise that they were to be given fertilisers,” Melaye added.
He added that the state governor was angry that he has continued to demand that the 17-month salary arrears of the state workers should be paid.
The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, speaking on the development, said the recall process was an exercise that would end in futility, and is therefore a waste of scarce resources of the state.
The process of recall, Ekweremadu said, is a long one, which would also require the Senate to verify the collated signatures before a decision is reached.
He added that an amendment to Section 69 of the 1999 Constitution, which was done in 2010, particularly makes the ongoing process, one that is dead on arrival.
The deputy Senate President noted that the amendment would require all signatories to the recall, to physically line up for verification.
“The number of those who are seeking the recall of Senator Melaye from the Senate are supposed to line up somewhere in Kogi State with him and his lawyers, and each person will verify his signature. When they are done with that, they will go back to Section 68 which states that the Senate President receives from the chairman of INEC (a notice on) the recall of the member. They would also present evidence satisfactory to the House or the Senate.
“So, they (constituents) need to come back here and convince every one of us that they have done the correct thing. Unless they do that, they cannot even give effect to it. So, why are we wasting our time? Let us move on and allow them to waste their time,” Ekweremadu said.
Presiding, Senate President Bukola Saraki, said the Senate has to be satisfied that the process was satisfactory.