By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA-THE National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, Thursday, frowned at the Senate for allegedly attempting to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from effecting Senator Dino Melaye’s recall process.
To this end, the students body vowed that it would resist further efforts by the Senate if the electoral body was confronted with interference from the National Assembly in its constitutional duty.
NANS President, Aruna Kadiri, who addressed newsmen on in Abuja, said INEC had commenced the process of recall of the Senator following petition from Melaye’s constituents asking to recall him.
He said it was wrong for the National Assembly, particularly the Senate and some politicians to attempt to scuttle the process and undermine the will of the people that elected the Senator in the first place.
Kadiri, noted that it was the constitutional right of the people to recall any of their representatives where such person is not performing and that it was also within the legitimate mandate of INEC to follow through the due process upon receipt of the petition signed by the required number of people.
He, therefore, warned that if the process is abruptly halted, the student body would mobilise its members across the country to defend the right of the people and the power of INEC to exercise its statutory responsibility.
He recalled that the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and 12 other plaintiffs have sued INEC, seeking to halt the process of recall, adding that INEC as a responsible Commission halted the process in obedience to the orders of Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court Abuja.
The NANS President said since INEC has gone ahead to apply to the Court to set aside the order, all interests groups should allow the Commission to do its job and that any one not satisfied with the process could approach the Court for remedy after the process has been concluded by the electoral umpire.
He said: “It has also been widely reported that the Senate is going to probe the activities of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), an institution formally headed by the Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu.
“As stated earlier, it is within the competence of the Distinguished Senators to do so. However, we seriously frown at the attempt of some persons to twist and attempt to purport that the INEC halted the process because of the mooted probe of TETfund.
“This is failed blackmail and we reject it completely and will resist any attempt to derail INEC in the legitimate discharge of its constitutional mandate”.