Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye has declared the process to recall him is dead as the petition has expired.
In a press conference, Melaye said he will not no longer be in a haste to take any further step on the matter so as not to be seen to have aided any party, especially the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in the continued blatant breach of the provisions of the Constitution.
He stated that the 90 days period, as provided for in the Constitution for conducting the referendum elapsed by effluxion of time on the 23rd day of September 2017. He cited section 69 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended to buttress his claim.
“It is apposite at this point, to give you a brief history or the political reasons behind the politically motivated recall orchestrated by Yahaya Bello, the governor of Kogi State and Senator Smart Adeyemi. It is public knowledge that workers in Kogi State have not received their salaries for a period of more than six months now prior to 23rd June 2017. It was on this premise, that I, Senator Dino Melaye, lent my voice to that of the suffering masses in Kogi State, to call for the prompt payment of all salaries owed workers in the state and the reopening of all closed tertiary institutions in the state.
“Gentlemen of the press, it is common knowledge, that several attempts were made to assassinate me as a result of this. It was only after several attempts at my life failed, that they resorted to this sham process of recall.
“On the 23rd day of June, 2017, certain persons claiming to be my constituents, purportedly submitted a petition to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the ground that they have lost confidence in me. It would interest you to know that the major ground for the alleged loss of confidence in me, was that I was constantly speaking against the Governor of Kogi State, for his high handedness in the administration of the state.
“I instructed my lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, to file an action in court, challenging the entire process on several grounds. The processes were duly served on INEC on the 28th day of June 2017, whereas INEC eventually filed its defence to the said originating processes one whole month after the service of the originating processes on it.
Despite INEC’s failure to file defence to my court processes, they suddenly woke up after a court had granted an order, directing them to maintain status quo pending the hearing of the Originating Summons. They rushed to court, filed several applications, inclusive of an application before a brother vacation judge in the Federal High Court, asking him to interfere with the discretionary powers of another brother judge, who had already ordered that status quo be maintained.
“I was reliably informed by my Lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, that it is an elementary principle of law, that a court of coordinate jurisdiction, cannot sit on appeal over a judgment or order of a brother judge. It was at this point that I personally felt, that it is either INEC’s lawyers, are not well versed in the law, or that they are exhibiting unusual desperation in their avowed determination to unseat me from the National Assembly, under the close guidance of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and Senator Smart Adeyemi. It is pertinent to state here that the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Kogi State, was physically present in court on the day of judgment, even when neither him, nor the Kogi State Government was party to the suit. Indeed the judge glowingly recognized his presence.
“You are all aware that the trial court had since delivered its judgment and I have instructed my lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN, to file an appeal against the said judgment, which he has done.
“In this case, INEC received the petition on the 23rd day of June, 2017. The 90 days period, as provided for in the Constitution for conducting the referendum (after our verification) elapsed by effluxion of time on the 23rd day of September 2017.
“The time, as provided for in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, having elapsed by effluxion of time, I, Senator Dino Melaye, cannot and shall not under any circumstance, aid and abet INEC to further desecrate and infringe on the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which I have sworn to defend.
“I celebrate the obituary of the ‘made-in-Taiwan’ recall exercise, while sympathizing with the induced petitioners, who will obviously face charges of forgery and other criminal charges before a court of law very, very soon,” he said.