Senators condemn the role and expense of Kogi State government in Dino Melaye recall saga

NIGERIA'S senate has condemned the role of the Kogi State government in the proposed recall of the senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District Dino Melaye, and expressed concern that scarce public resources are being expended on venture.


Over recent weeks, Senator Melaye has become the subject of a recall attempt, as his political opponents have been gathering signatures to effect his recall from the senate. So far, it is reported that 188,588 signatures have been gathered but the senator has dismissed the move as a plot by his opponents led by Kogi State governor Yahya Bello.


Inec has officially notified senator Melaye of the recall notice and he in turn has gone to court, seeking to annul the process. Earlier this week, Inec posted the notice of verification on the walls of its local government area office in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, for the electorate to see.


However, senators have insisted that the fate of Senator Melaye would ultimately be determined in the Senate as stipulated by Section 68 (2) of the 1999 constitution. Its position was adopted yesterday following a point of order raised by the deputy senate president Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who faulted the arguments contained in an advertorial sponsored by Kogi State government on the subject matter.


Yesterday, the Kogi State attorney-general Ibrahim Sanni Mohammed, published advertorials in several national dailies, claiming the Senate has no role to play in the recall process of a senator. He added that the only role the senate had to play in the process was to receive the certificate of recall from the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec).


Mr Mohammed insisted that by the provisions of the Inec regulations for the recall of a legislator, a member of the National Assembly stands recalled upon confirmation of a majority vote in favour of the recall. Yesterday, senate president Bukola Saraki, said the position of the Kogi State attorney-general confirms that the recall bid was being orchestrated by the state government.


Senator Saraki said: “Honestly, I am concerned with the calibre of people holding very senior positions. Even those of us who only have association with the legal profession by being married to one, have learnt over the years to know that this is straight forward.


“This pretty much shows that it is government that is truly behind the entire process. When a government can go about and take an advert on an issue like this, it becomes worrisome.”


He further added that it was disturbing and irresponsible that N10m (£24,260) was allegedly spent for the advertorial. Senator Saraki said there is a need for people appointed or elected to positions to show some level of responsibility.