The process to recall Dino Melaye, a senator representing Kogi west, is in a way, beginning to gain steam.
What began as a threat by Yahaya Bello, governor of the state, is now unfurling in a dramatic way.
Melaye and Bello have been at daggers drawn over issues of political interest. But the rift ossified when Melaye called for the resignation of the governor for allegedly doing “double voter registration”.
In the “quid pro quo” battle, Melaye linked Bello to alleged attempts on his life, while the governor described him as unfit to be a lawmaker, and eventually initiating the process to have him sacked from the senate.
However, the figure of signatories to the petition for recall and that of actual voters in the 2015 senatorial election in the district are raising questions.
Here is why.
188, 588 “SIGNED” PETITION FOR RECALL BUT ONLY 111,534 VOTED IN ELECTION
On Monday, Pius Kolawole, special adviser to the governor, announced that 188,588 voters, representing 52.3 percent of the total number of registered voters in Kogi west senatorial district, approved the recall of Melaye from the senate.
He said the collation of signatures of voters was carried out successfully on June 17.
According to the electoral act, one-half of the number of registered voters in a constituency is required for the recall of a lawmaker.
There are 360,098 registered voters in Kogi west and the number — 188,588 – represents a little more than one-half required for a lawmaker’s recall.
Theoretically, this figure is achievable.
However, a look at the figure of voters in the 2015 senatorial election in the district raises questions.
With the massive turnout in the election, Melaye polled only 41,120 votes while his closest opponent, Smart Adeyemi, who ran on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but is now a member of All Progressive Congress, APC had 38,148 votes.
Adeyemi challenged the outcome of the exercise at the election petition tribunal which ordered a recount. The recount showed that INEC gave Melaye more than 2,000 invalid votes. But it upheld his victory on the grounds that the number of invalid votes did not substantially alter the final results.
Now, the sum of votes both candidates and five other top candidates had is 111,534. But it is doubtful that the number of actual voters in the election is way less than the 188,588 which trooped out for the “recall balloting”.
INEC TO VERIFY CLAIM
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is expected to eventually answer the questions raised here. The commission will verify the names on the register along with the recall signatories.
It will also conduct a referendum to determine if Melaye’s “constituents” want him out of the senate.
However, INEC has said it is not aware of the process to recall the lawmaker.
Culled: The Cable NG