Tosin Akande – lawyer, politician and a former legislative aide – has vented a legal angle to the infamous sex dare of Senator Dino Melaye to Senator (Mrs) Oluremi Tinubu. He was reported to have bellowed at her in a closed door senate session: “Look this is not Bourdillon. I will beat you up (and) impregnate you and nothing will happen.”
When asked on national TV if indeed he vomited those ugly words, Melaye simply said he couldn’t have said he would beat up Mrs Tinubu and at the same time impregnate her especially since she was well past menopause. Such derogation! Melaye represents Kogi West, Tinubu Lagos Central.
Here is Senator Tinubu’s weighted response to Melaye when she addressed the Senate: “I’m just wondering why whenever Senator Melaye speaks in this chamber, he is always threatening people and behaving childishly and at times like a thug. I think he needs to know that every senator here represents their constituencies and that there is no need to threaten anyone.”
Here are excerpts of Akande’s legal vent as emailed to HAMILTONSTYLE at dusk on July 18…
Words said menacingly by a man of Senator Melaye’s antecedents cannot be said to be tenable as said in the course of parliamentary proceedings and therefore deserving of parliamentary immunity. Such unguarded expressions have evidently veered off parliamentary purview and must not be overlooked.
No doubt an ignominy but of greater importance now is the need to prevent a recurrence of Senator Melaye’s misdemeanour and Nigerians can do this by massively campaigning for an amendment of the RECALL CLAUSE, which would make our lawmakers understand the nobility of the assignment we gave to them via the ballot-box and commit them to a more populist course than they have done and are still doing.
As presently worded in Sections 69 and 110 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the RECALL CLAUSE is impossible to evoke and the Law, over the years, has been said never to ask for the impossible.
It is obvious that the requirement seeking one-half of the registered voters with INEC is cumbersome, taking into account the number of Nigerians who travel home to vote; taking into account the judicial notice of the rights of people to change homes and residence; taking into account administrative bottle-necks that can mitigate the dispensation of justice for the people among others.
Besides, the necessary people with locus over who gets elected in the Constituency or District should be the residents in the area and not the registered voters with INEC in the area as the Constitution puts it. As it stands, it would create a clog in the wheel of the people’s right to recall, if and whenever they choose to exercise that right. Accordingly, it should be amended.
It is settled in our Constitutional Law and Jurisprudence, for example, that the four-year mandate of the Legislature is tied to the land of the National Assembly and the States Houses of Assembly and not the elected law-maker. Similarly, the geographical area and its inhabitants at any given time should hold the ace for the constitutional power of recall and not the registered voters with INEC.
Moreover, this requirement is harsh because it leaves the residents of the respective Constituencies and Districts helpless over their residential areas leaving such powers with a people that might never really exist.
Besides, the time-frame for the recall action ought to be amended- from ninety days to thirty days. I doubt if that time-frame of ninety days will pass the test of reasonableness. Why should such benefit of time be given to someone in whom public confidence is lost and eroded? Why such time for someone over whom public disapproval is hanging? The ninety-day grace is just too much and I therefore, ask Nigerians to join me in querying the logic in it.
HAMILTONSTYLE shares Akande’s informed view. You can email him: email@example.com for further comments.