With the Court of Appeal’s dismissal of Senator Dino Melaye’s suit against his recall, the Kogi state Independent National Electoral Commission has fixed April 28, 2018 for the commencement of the recall process. Under the law, the process is expected to be concluded in 90 days (three months) that is by the end of July
With the Court of Appeal’s dismissal of Senator Dino Melaye’s suit against his recall, the Kogi state Independent National Electoral Commission has fixed April 28, 2018 for the commencement of the recall process.
Under the law, the process is expected to be concluded in 90 days (three months) that is by the end of July 2018, Senator Melaye would have known his fate whether he is continuing as Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or would have been sacked.
In its ruling, the Court of Appeal dismissed Senator Melaye’s suit for lacking in merit as it disclosed no cause of action. The Court noted that ‘’the powers of the Independent National Electoral Commission are statutory, given by the constitution and not even the Court could take its power to conduct a referendum’’.
The next stage in the recall process is for INEC to confirm if the petition has been signed by more than half (50 percent) of the total registered voters in the Senator’s constituency which is Kogi West.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the verification exercise would begin on April 28, 2018 as pronounced but Senator Melaye has signified his interest to contest the matter up to the highest Court of the land which is the Supreme Court.
Responding from his twitter handle after the Court of Appeal judgement, the Senator said: “Nothing to fear. It is dismissive and evaporative. INEC will be served because I have appealed to the Supreme Court. I do have absolute trust in my constituents. “They never signed anything so Yahaya Bello will have to look for the imaginary people.’’
As Nigerians watch out for what comes next, we present below a Question and Answer explanation of the recall process as prepared by INEC:Question: Who can initiate Recall of an elected member?
Ans: A group of more than 50% of voters registered to vote in that member’s constituency.
Question: How do I know the total number of Registered Voters in my Constituency?
Ans: You can request for Certified True Copy (CTC) of Registered Voters in the constituency from the INEC office in the State.
Question: Where can I get details of Polling Units?
Ans: At the State Offices or INEC website: www.inecnigeria.org
Question: On receipt of a petition for Recall of a member, what does the Commission do?
Ans: The Commission crosschecks the petition to confirm if it has been signed by more than half of the total registered voters in that constituency, and also if it is in line with the laws, regulations and guidelines for Recall.
Question: What if the petition did not meet up with the requirements?
Ans: The petitioners are notified accordingly but they can represent the petition, if they so wish.
Question: Can petitioners withdraw their petition?
Ans: A petition for Recall can be withdrawn at any time before the conduct of Verification provided that the withdrawal is endorsed by the representatives of the petitioners.
Question: What is Verification in a Recall Proceeding?
Ans: It is the process of verifying the signatures of the signatories to the petition for a recall.
Question: Where is Verification conducted?
Ans: Verification is conducted at polling units in the constituency of the member petitioned against.
Question: Who participates in a Verification exercise?
Ans: The signatories to the petition only.
Question: What is Referendum in a Recall process?
Ans: It is an exercise where all Voters in the constituency of the Member petitioned against vote “YES” or “NO” to recall the Member.
Question: Who participates in a Referendum?
Ans: All the registered voters in the Constituency of the member petitioned against.
Question: When is a Referendum successful?
Ans: Where the “YES” vote is more than 50% of the registered voters in that member’s constituency.
Question: Where is Referendum conducted?
Ans: Referendum is conducted at polling units in the constituency of the member petitioned against.
Question: What happens when a member is Recalled?
Ans: A Certificate of Recall is issued to the presiding officer of the affected legislative house. Subsequently, a bye election is conducted to fill the vacancy.
Question: Can a Recalled member re-contest?
Ans: There is no law that prevents a recalled member from re-contesting.