By Clifford Ndujihe
Section 69 of the 1999 Constitution provides 10 clear but tortuous steps on how a senator can be recalled from the Senate.
The steps are:
More than half of the registered voters in the Senator’s senatorial district write, sign and send a petition to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC alleging their loss of confidence in the senatorial
The petition must be signed, and arranged according to polling units, wards, Local Government Areas, and constituency.
INEC notifies the Senator sought to be recalled, stating that it has received a petition for his or her recall, if the petition is valid
INEC issues a public notice or announcement stating the date, time and location of the verification of signatures to the petition
INEC verifies the signatures to the petition at the designation. The signatories must be individuals who appear on the voters’ register.
INEC conducts a referendum if more than one half (50% + 1) of the signatories are verified
INEC writes to the petitioners stating that the minimum requirements for a referendum were not met, if the number verified is less than one half of the registered voters in that constituency. The petition will therefore be dismissed.
INEC conducts a referendum within 90 days of receipt of the petition if the minimum requirements for a referendum are met. The referendum will be a simple yes or no vote on whether the Senator should be recalled, and will be decided by simple majority of the votes of the persons registered to vote in that Senator’s constituency.
If majority of the voters in the constituency vote ‘yes’ the Chairman of the INEC will send a Certificate of Recall to the Senate President to effect the recall.
The Senate President will show affected senator the way out of the Senate.