Forget the hard guy looks, Dino Melaye is really scared of getting recalled.
Moves to recall Melaye commenced in June of 2017. The people of Kogi West said they wanted Melaye back home because he’s become a source of embarrassment for them.
Melaye was accused by his people of “continuous flow of irresponsible utterances which embarrass the constituency…violence, thuggery and other electoral offences against our people during elections….he routinely insults other leaders, elders and personalities….he is indecent and deliberately corrupts public morals….he has no respect for party democracy", and so on and so forth.
Melaye’s first reaction was to laugh off moves to recall him. “I am not scared”, he had said, before launching a full scale war on Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello who he believes is the seen and unseen hand behind the recall moves.
But don't take his word for it--Dino Melaye is really scared right now. And he has every right to be. Everything he says and does right now is just bluster.
The dramatic senator has set out his stall to frustrate the recall process by throwing legal spanners in the works. And you have to agree that he’s been very successful with that. The fact that it’s been nine months of trying to recall him without any headway, tells you that the senator’s lawyers have earned every legal fee.
He's hired some of the best lawyers to stave off the recall moves. Only scared people do that.
In the interim, Melaye and Gov Bello have become sworn enemies, the senator has been avoiding INEC like a plague, he’s cooked up assassination stories and he’s gotten his colleagues in the upper legislative chamber behind him.
He's pulling the kitchen sink into this whole thing.
All of which tells you that he is really scared of getting recalled. Forget the bluster and tough guy façade—Dino Melaye is scared at the moment. That fear is why he’s exploited all the loopholes in our country’s legal system to frustrate the recall.
When news broke that the court of appeal has ordered a resumption of the recall process, Melaye said; “The judgement by the appeal court today is nothing to be bothered about. I urge my supporters to be relaxed as though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death yet I fear no evil. Every lie has an expiry date. We are appealing the judgement immediately”.
Of course he’s ready to take this to the Supreme Court and just as well. In a democracy, the courts have the final say.
The challenge before the people of Kogi and INEC will be whether they can stay the course and see this through. It’s still a long way from recalling Melaye, though. Even if the final court decisions go in INEC’s favour, the constitution still makes it doubly difficult to recall anyone from the national assembly.
What should be important is that at the end of the day, we would have allowed our institutions to get fully tested thanks to the Melaye case. And that won't be a bad by-product for our nascent democracy.