Senate decries alleged role of Kogi government in Melaye’s recall

Members of the Nigerian Senate at a plenary


Passes compulsory treatment bill for gunshot victims

The upper legislative chamber yesterday described the alleged involvement of the state government to recall representative of Kogi West senatorial district in the Senate, Dino Melaye, as unfortunate.

It also stated that the constitution empowered the senate to take the final decision on whether or not the provision for a senator’s recall was applicable.Adopting a motion by its Deputy President, Ike Ekweremadu, the legislators lamented that the Kogi State government could spend public funds to recall a lawmaker.

At the commencement of proceedings yesterday, Ekweremadu had drawn the lawmakers’ attention to the contents of an advertorial in some national dailies by the state Attorney General, Ibrahim Sanni Mohammed, declaring that the senate had no role in the process of recalling a senator.

“Indeed, by the provisions of the INEC regulations for a legislator’s recall, a senator stands recalled upon INEC’s confirmation of majority vote in favour of such recall,” Mohammed said.

But Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, lamented that the Kogi State Government could descend to the level of spending public funds to support the recall of a senator.

His words: “What is even more worrisome and irresponsible is the fact that the state government could spend N10 million on advert. I have been a governor. When you file money for advert, it is a difficult issue.“This pretty much shows that it is government that is truly behind the entire process. When a government can take an advert on an issue like this, it becomes worrisome.”

He cautioned people in positions, whether elected or appointed, to show some level of responsibility, adding that it was a simple constitutional matter. Saraki stressed that the development was unfortunate for the people of Kogi State.Ekweremadu urged the state government to channel the resources used in sponsoring the recall exercise to pay workers’ salaries, which it has been owing for the past 15 months.

Meanwhile, the Senate has passed the compulsory treatment and care of victims of gunshots bill to ensure that they receive prompt assistance from health workers and security agencies.

Passing the bill yesterday, Saraki stated that not every victim of gunshot wound is a criminal and as such, a legal framework should be put into place to avoid unnecessary loss of lives.

“By the passage of this bill, the senate has moved to ensure that every hospital in Nigeria, both public and private, must accept to treat victims of gunshot wounds without any clearance from the Police,” he said.

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