The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Monday released a timetable for the recall of Senator Dino Melaye (APC-Kogi West) from the Senate in spite of a lawsuit instituted by the senator to stop the Commission from proceeding with the process.
According to the timetable, the process will begin on July 10 with notice of verification of constituents to be posted at INEC’s Lokoja office and end on August 19 with the conduct and announcement of the outcome of the verification of the constituents who want the senator out of the Senate.
The constituents of the senatorial district on June 21 submitted a petition to INEC demanding Melaye’s recall, citing his “abysmal performance” at the Nigerian Senate and as their reason. The senator was also accused of distancing himself from his constituents.
“For the past two years, Senator Melaye has not organised one town hall meeting anywhere in Kogi West to meet with the people to present his scorecard or stewardship,” Leader of the constituents, Chief Cornelius Olowo, told State-run News Agency of Nigeria shortly after submitting the petition for the recall to INEC.
“He has been completely disconnected from the people. Since he won his election and the legal battle at the court, he is no longer reachable.
“He has no constituency office in Kogi West as we speak, as a way to reach him on the matter of interests from the people that elected him,” Olowo said.
But the Senator insisted the petition against him was sponsored by agents of the Kogi State Government because of his criticisms of Governor Yahaya Bello’s administration.
Melaye also alleged that they claimed to have gotten over 188,000 signatories of electorates in Kogi West when the total vote cast, both valid and rejected, in the last senatorial election of 2015, was merely 111, 000 for all the candidates that participated.
“This recall exercise was hatched in Kogi Government House due to the manner in which Senator Dino Melaye consistently challenges and engages the government over non-payment of workers’ salaries and pensioners for over 15 months; and also the constant closure of tertiary institutions,” he stated.