The Senate on Tuesday deplored an advertorial by Kogi Government that the upper chamber had no role in the ongoing recall process of Sen. Dino Melaye.
This followed a Point of Order raised by the Deputy President of the Senate, Mr Ike Ekweremadu, at plenary.
Ekweremadu, who based the observation on Order 43 of the Senate Standing Rule, said his attention was drawn to a three-page advertorial by Attorney-General of the state, Mr Ibrahim Muhammed, in a national daily.
He said that in the advertorial, Muhammed faulted his (Deputy President of the Senate’s) statement on the role of the Senate in the recall of a member.
According to him, the Attorney-General’s stand is a display of his ignorance on the provisions of the Constitution on the recall of legislators in the country.
Ekweremadu said that the advertorial was needless as it was a waste of Kogi peoples’ funds.
“The Attorney-General was responding to my contribution on the floor of the Senate when Sen. Dino Melaye informed the house of his constituents’ effort to recall him.
“In my statement, I urged the constituents to apply their time to more useful venture in view of the strenuous nature of recall of a lawmaker in the country and I said the AG may not have advised them properly.
“I understand that every page of the advertorial costs about N700, 000 and I learnt five other papers carried it. We are looking at about N12 million of Kogi Government funds.
“I would have ignored him but because of his statement in the final paragraph of the advertorial, I felt it is necessary to clarify issues,’’ he said.
Ekweremadu, quoted Muhammed as saying that the Senate had no role in the recall than to “receive the certificate from the Chairman of INEC stating that the provisions of Section 69 of the Constitution has been complied with’’.
“Indeed by the provisions of INEC’s regulation for the recall of a legislator, a legislator stands recalled upon INEC’s confirmation of a majority vote in favour of the recall.’’
The deputy president of Senate said that the Constitution was clear on the role of the Senate in the recall process.
“ I would like to take him to Section 68(1H) and (2) to show the role of the Senate, which he says has no role.
“Section 68(1H) reads, `the President of the Senate or, as the case may be, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, receives a certificate under the hand of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, stating that the provisions of section 69 of this Constitution have been complied with in respect of the recall of that member.’
“That was the section the Attorney-General was referring to but he mischievously refused to state the provisions of section 2 or probably out of ignorance, he did not put Section 68(2).’’
He said that the section states that `The President of the Senate or Speaker of House of Representatives, as the case may be, shall give effect to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section.
`So, however, that the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives or a member shall first present evidence satisfactory to the House concerned that any of the provisions of that subsection has become applicable in respect of that member.