Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu says the Kogi state Attorney-General, Ibrahim Sani Muhammed lacks understanding of the Constitutional provision for the recall of a lawmaker.
Ekweremadu stated this while reacting to a newspaper advertorial sponsored by the attorney-general on selected newspapers on Tuesday, July 11, 2017.
According to the advertorial, Muhammed argued that the Senate does not play a role in the recall of a Senator after the process may have been completed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Citing relevant clauses in the Constitution at plenary, Ekweremadu noted that the Kogi state Attorney-General spent over 12 million to 'display his ignorance'.
"This morning my attention was drawn to a three-page advertorial, pages 20, 21 and 22 of the Leadership newspaper by the Attorney-General of Kogi state," Ekweremadu began.
"He was responding to my contribution on the floor of the Senate when Senator Dino Melaye informed this Senate of the efforts of the people of his constituency to recall him.
"I want to advise that the people of Kogi state and indeed his constituents should better apply their time to more useful venture in view of the very difficult conditions of recall of parliamentarians and in reference to the attorney-general, I did say that my learned friend may not have advised the people or indeed the government appropriately.
"So this morning Kogi state government took an advertorial to respond to me and I understand that every page cost about N700,000 for these alone they spent about N2 million and I understand that it is on about five other papers so we are looking about N12 million spent to responding to my comment. Meanwhile, what I say here is supposed to be a privilege that is what the law says.
"Finally, I must put on record that legal opinion of Senator Ekweremadu on the role of the Senate in the recall process, the Senate has no role whatsoever in the recall exercise than to receive the certificate under the hand of the chairman of INEC stating that the provision of section 69 of the Constitution has been complied with see 68 h of the 1999 constitution as amended.
"I pity the people of Kogi state that hired this kind of attorney-general and this is unfortunate that it is paying a public servant and he is unable to do a simple work looking at the constitution.
"We must emphasise that 68 (2) is not part of the amendment since 1999. This has been the original provision of the Constitution. It has nothing to do with Dino or whoever. It has been there since 1999 for him not to know about it - I don't know where he went to law school anyway.
"If he has been properly educated I believe he should have been conversant with the basic provisions of the constitution.
"I'm even his senior at the bar, he ought to show some respect because that is what we are taught at the law school to respect our senior.
"But for the avoidance of doubt I want to believe I have better credentials in the legal profession and my interest was constitutional law, I have a doctorate degree in law and my area is constitutional law, I have been chairman of the constitutional review committee in this national assembly since 2010.
"I expect the attorney-general instead of displaying his ignorance, to call and I educate him on the correct position of the law.
"So I take I exception to this and I believe that he needs to refund the amount spent on this to the people of Kogi I call on the house of assembly to institute an enquiry on who paid for this and find a way of receiving the money back to pay salaries of Kogi state," he added.
Describing the situation as unfortunate, Senate President Bukola Saraki advised the Kogi state government to use such funds to pay salaries of workers in the state.