Things are no longer at ease with the flamboyant Senator, Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West, with the news flying about his person and his constituents. The Senator whose controversies have constantly been making headlines in major newspapers and social media platforms may soon be sent packing out from the upper chamber as about 52.2% of his constituents have appended their signatures for his withdrawal back home on account of what they described as misrepresentation of their interest and his constant inflammatory statements about his state governor.
Ten steps to fulfill for successful recall
According to section 69 of the 1999 constitution (as amended) by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it provides 10 clear but tortuous steps on how a Senator (or member of the House of Representatives) can be recalled.
- If more than half of the registered voters in the senator’s Senatorial District write, sign and send a petition to the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), alleging their loss of confidence in the Senatorial.
- The petition must be signed and arranged according to polling units, wards, Local Government Areas and constituencies.
- INEC notifies the Senator sought to be recalled, stating that it has received a petition for his or her recall, if the petition is valid.
- INEC issues a public notice or announcement stating the date, time and location of the verification of signatures to the petition.
- INEC verifies the signatures to the petition at the designation. The signatories must be individuals who appears on the voter’s register.
- INEC conducts a referendum if more than one half (50%+1) of the signatories are verified.
- INEC writes to the petitioners stating that the minimum requirements for the referendum were not met, if the number verified is more than one half of the registered voters in that constituency. The petition will therefore be dismissed.
- INEC conducts a referendum within 90 days of receipt of the petition if the minimum requirements for a referendum are met. The referendum will be a simple yes or no vote on whether the Senator should be recalled, and will be decided by simple majority of the votes of the persons registered to vote in that Senator’s constituency.
- If the majority of the voters in the constituency vote ‘yes’, the chairman of the INEC will send a certificate of recall to the Senate President to effect the recall.
- The Senate President will show affected Senator the way out of the Senate.
Although, over 52.2% which is more than half of his constituent, has called for his recall which conformed with the first step in Section 69 of the 1999 constitution, the senator is claiming that the signatures are forged.
– CHIKA OKORIE