Dino Melaye accuses INEC of not following constitution on his recall process

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Senator Dino Melaye, the senator representing Kogi West who recall from the Senate by his constituency is being processed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has accused the electoral umpire of not following the constitutionally laid down rules in the process of recalling him from the upper legislative chamber.

INEC had released a new timetable for the recall process of Melaye with the notice of verification to begin on October 3, while the last day of submission of application by observers will be October 5.

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Monday, Melaye said section 69b of the 1999 constitution as amended mandated that a referendum for recall of a member of the House of Representatives or Senate must be carried out within 90 days after INEC’s receipt of a petition from the constituents.

The trial judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High court in Abuja had earlier ruled that the 90 day period for the referendum will begin to count from September 11 as against the 23rd of June when the petition was submitted to INEC.

Citing similar judgments by the Supreme Court in the past, Melaye insisted that the trial judge had no powers to change the dates for the referendum, adding that the position of the constitution on the issue remained sacrosanct.

According to him, for INEC to still be forging ahead with a process that had outlived constitutionally stipulated duration, showed that the electoral body was out to violate the laws of the land in the bid of carrying out the wish of some selfish politicians in Kogi State.

He alleged that the State governor, Yahaya Bello and Senator Smart Adeyemi were behind the recall process based on petition signed by only three persons in flagrant violation of constitutional provisions for that purpose .

He added that the whole process would hit the brick wall of failure in the face of the law as he had appealed against a judgment which he claimed was fraudulently obtained by INEC and its sponsors.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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