The Senate on Tuesday expressed its backing for the embattled lawmaker representing the Kogi-West senatorial district, Senator Dino Melaye, over the ongoing move by his constituents to recall him from the National Assembly.
The lawmakers stated that they would determine whether Melaye could be recalled by his constituents or not, describing the ongoing process as a waste of time and public funds.
While criticising the Independent National Electoral Commission for its speedy handling of the process, the upper chamber of the National Assembly alleged that the electoral umpire was incurring extra-budgetary spending on Melaye’s recall.
Melaye, at the plenary on Tuesday, raised a point of order to accuse the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, of sponsoring his recall. He also alleged that most of the signatures gathered as those of his constituents calling for his recall were forged.
According to him, the officials of the state government allegedly gathered the signatures from the voter register of INEC as there was no time signatures for his recall were publicly gathered in his senatorial district.
He said, “As I speak to you, I have over 120 death certificates issued by the National Population Commission and these people’s relations and families have sworn to affidavits and these certificates have been deposited. The names of the dead people appeared on the recall register submitted to INEC.
“Also, 116 of my constituents have sworn to affidavits that their names and signatures appeared in the recall register and they were not the ones that signed it.
“Also, 86 of my constituents have sworn to affidavits that they were approached that the government wanted to carry out a fertiliser empowerment programme and requested their Permanent Voter Cards and thereby deceived them into putting their names in the recall register.”
In his remarks, Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, cited parts of the constitution, particularly sections 68 and 69, and accused INEC of not following the laid down procedures in carrying out the exercise.