The electoral agency is embarking on an exercise in futility, the lawmakers said.
The Senate said the various stages passed so far in the process were not in line with laid down constitutional procedures and guidelines, adding that it amounted to a waste of time by all the parties involved.
This resolution followed a point of order raised against the move by Melaye.
Melaye said: “The score of both valid and invalid votes in the election that brought me into the Senate in 2015 was 118,000 but my governor and his appointees in four days claimed they got signatures of over 188,000.
”They got INEC data base of registered voters and copied in one writing into a recall register and forged all the signatures. 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 affidavits and these certificates have been deposited.
”The names of all these dead people appeared on the recall register submitted to INEC.
“116 of my constituents have sworn to affidavits that their names and signatures appeared in the recall registers and that they did not sign.
“86 of my constituents have sworn to an affidavit that they were approached and that the government wants to carry out a fertiliser empowerment programme and requested for their PVCs and thereby deceived them into putting their names in the recall register.”
Ekweremadu 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.”
Ekweremadu added that the National Assembly, in 2010, amended the constitution in respect of Section 69, which deals with recall of a lawmaker.
According to him, the Section clearly states that those who are seeking to recall Melaye are supposed to line up somewhere in Kogi State with him and his lawyers, with each person verifying his signature.
“When they are done with that, they go back to Section 68, which states that the President of the Senate receives from the chairman of INEC the recall of the member. They would also present evidence satisfactory to the House or the Senate.
”So they need to come back here and convince each and 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.
Senate President Bukola Saraki said: “As they say, 10 years is no joke in leadership, the Deputy Senate President has explained the processes. So, let the process speak for itself.
”I really don’t know why a lot of efforts are being wasted that should have gone into more important things. Eventually, it must come back here for us to decide whether it is satisfactory or not.”
INEC: only legitimate court order can stop process
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday said only a legitimate court order could stop the recall of Senator Dino Melaye as demanded by his Kogi West constituents.
Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of the commission Rotimi Oyekanmi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that filing a lawsuit was not enough to stop the process.
Oyekanmi said the actions of the commission were being guided by the provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act.
“The constituents came with sacks of documents which they said were `the signatures’ of more than half of the voting population of Kogi West Senatorial District, which Melaye represents.
“They also presented a register of the said signatories and a letter, asking INEC to begin the process of recalling the senator representing that particular district.
“Subsequently, the commission, in exercise of the powers conferred on it by Sections 116 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), on Monday issued a timetable and schedule of activities for the recall of the senator.
“Only a legitimate court order or an injunction can be considered by the commission,’’ he said.
On claims by Melaye that some of the signatures submitted to INEC were forged and that names of dead registered voters were also included, Oyekanmi said the process of verification would clear all that.
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