The Independent National Electoral Commission says it will release a fresh timetable and schedule of activities for the recall of Senator Dino Melaye, who represents Kogi West Senatorial District.
The Director, Voter Education and Publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, said this on ‘Politics Today’, a programme on Channels Television.
Osaze-Uzzi said this while reacting to a judgement by the Court of Appeal giving INEC the nod to proceed with Melaye’s recall.
The INEC director said the timetable, released by the commission in July 2017, was altered by the court case and a new one would need to be issued to guide the recall process.
He said although the electoral body had yet to receive the certified true copy of the appeal court judgment, the summary of the ruling was already public knowledge.
Osaze-Uzzi said, “You have 90 days to conduct a referendum to decide if people want it or not. So, we will issue a public notice and timetable and schedule for activities because the one we previously issued has now been invalidated but it has been validated by the Appeal Court and we will proceed with what the court has said.”
Explaining the process, the INEC director said it would notify the lawmaker and all other parties involved.
He added, “Now we have to do verification because the law requires that a petition allegedly signed by over 50 per cent of the registered voters in a senatorial district must be verified. We must notify the senator and tell him to give us an agent and we go to do a verification exercise.
“So, we have to do these things because it was paused. You will recall that the timetable was last year. So, INEC will do a verification on a particular day and if it is successful, then we will take the next step and if the steps are all successful, then we will pick a date for the referendum so we will issue a modified timetable bringing it up to date.”
When asked if INEC would go ahead with the process despite Melaye’s statement that he would take the matter to the Supreme Court, Osaze-Uzzi said the commission only acted based on reality.
He said, “I can’t say what the Supreme Court will do but it will depend on the interlocutory processes that are filed between the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court but for now, all hurdles have been removed; so, the commission can continue with the process.”