A judge has ruled that the Dino Melaye recall should continue. The senator should be man enough to allow for due process.
The recall process was halted on July 6, 2017 following a ruling by Justice John Tsoho.
Justice Tosho’s ruling followed an application by the senator who sought to stop his recall on the grounds that the signatures contained in the petition had been forged.
Melaye also bitterly complained that the names of dead persons found their way into the bags containing the petition.
A total of 188, 580 constituents from Kogi West had appended their names on the petition seeking Melaye's recall, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Kogi West comprises seven senatorial districts in Yagba, Mopa Muro, Kabba Bunu, Yagba East, Koton Karfe, Lokoja and Ijumu.
INEC had slated August 19 for the declaration of the outcome of the signature verification process, when Melaye expectedly threw legal spanners in the works.
On July 6, Justice Tsoho of an Abuja Federal High Court ruled that the status quo be maintained pending the hearing of a motion filed by the senator. That ruling is called an interlocutory injunction.
Today, September 11, 2017, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the same court has ruled that the recall process can now continue after a two-month hiatus.
Let’s be clear, today’s judgment doesn’t mean Melaye will be recalled any time soon. There are still a few hurdles in the path of the petitioners.
From here, the electoral umpire will conduct a referendum where more than half of the signatories will need to be verified.
If the number of persons verified by INEC is less than one half of the registered voters in that constituency, the entire petition will be dismissed. Meaning it has failed.
If majority of the voters in the constituency vote ‘yes’, the INEC chairman will send a Certificate of Recall to Senate President Bukola Saraki, demanding that Melaye returns to Kogi as an ex senator, his tail between his legs.
So, it’s not yet Uhuru for those who want Melaye recalled.
But from this point, Melaye has to let the recall as enshrined in Section 69 of the 1999 constitution, proceed unhindered.
This recall has all the imprimatur of Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, but that doesn’t vitiate the fact that it’s a recall. And this is what Melaye and his ‘goons’ must understand.
That Bello is bankrolling the recall as some kind of vendetta doesn't make the process any less of a recall.
A thousand 'Ajekun Iya’s' or gyrations on the floor of the senate, really doesn’t stop a recall either.
Nor will making wild and unsubstantiated allegations in the media.
Melaye prides himself as a ‘big boy’—someone who loves the good life and all the good things life has to offer.
Well, big boys face their trials head-on. They don’t cower or cry themselves hoarse.
Melaye should see this recall process as one of life’s many trials or tests. He can flunk the test or excel in the test. But from this point, his fate is no longer his to decide.
Yeah, that's just how democracy works sometimes--it sucks.
Melaye's fate is now tied to section 69 of the constitution. His fate is embedded in the law.
May we all allow due process decide Melaye's fate from this point.
May the ‘ayes’ have it.