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Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Kogi government hits back at Deputy Senate President Ekweremadu over Melaye's recall comments

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Nigeria - The Kogi State government, yesterday, described as mischievous a statement credited to the deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, suggesting that it is behind Senator Dino Melaye’s recall process.
The State noted that Ekweremadu’s remark that Melaye’s recall process by the people of Kogi West senatorial district was an exercise in futility was an indication that the deputy Senate president was ignorant of the constitution.

In a statement issued by the state’s Attorney-General and commissioner for Justice, Ibrahim Sanni Muhammed, Kogi government stated that a situation where Ekweremadu would, on the floor of the upper chamber, “describe a lawful exercise of recall initiated by the good people of Kogi West Senatorial District as ‘an exercise in futility’ or posit that the constituents were wasting precious time, was highly regrettable and condemnable
“The Senator’s remarks in this regard and to the effect that proper advice was not given by the Attorney-General on a recall exercise can therefore only be regarded and should be seen as one laden with mischief, malice, and bad faith”, he said.
Muhammad added that, while he holds Ekweremadu in very high esteem, being a lawyer and a principal officer of the Senate, the same did not extend to his (Ekweremadu’s) remarks regarding Melaye’s recall exercise.
He continued, “While we all as Nigerians and more particularly myself respect and support the Senate as a very vital institution of our democracy, the Senate as an institution must continue to conduct itself in a manner compatible with the status conferred on it by the 1999 Constitution(as amended) so as to sustain the respect and support of Nigerians which it currently enjoys.
“For a start, it must be clear to all that, the recall process of Senator Dino is not a State function but that which was initiated by the good people of Kogi West Senatorial District in the exercise of their constitutionally granted right to recall a Senator representing them where they have lost confidence in the Senator.
“Neither Senator Ekweremadu nor other commentators on their train have provided any iota of evidence to support this allegation. This therefore remains an unfounded allegation.
“Following from the above position that the exercise is not that of the State, it means that the Attorney-General of Kogi State has no role whatsoever in the exercise by private citizens of their constitutional right to seek the recall of a senator.
“Senator Ekweremadu being a Lawyer and Lawmaker with considerable experience knows the role of the Attorney-General of a State as provided by the 1999 Constitution. The statement is in the least prejudicial and capable of interfering with the lawful functions of a constitutionally created body (INEC)’.
“I therefore call on well meaning Nigerians to resist any attempt by the Senate to make a mockery and in essence stifle the lawful functions of INEC.”

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