Attack on Ike Ekweremadu in Germany: Matters Arising!

August 23, 2019

Earlier this week, a senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Ike Ekeweremadu was attacked by the members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Germany. In the 64 seconds video released, Ekweremadu was seen being violently questioned over his alleged conspiracy with the Federal Government to proscribe the IPOB in the South East and killing several of its followers.

He later took to his social media account to condemn the attack on him saying that he was disappointed in their conduct, especially when he was one of the people who have spoken up on Justice for Ndigbo for the Python Dance, judicial killings in Igbo land and elsewhere both on the floor of the Senate and personal engagements with the Presidency. He also stated that he rallied the South East Senate Caucus to secure Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s release with Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe taking him on bail to douse tension in the South East. He further stated that he does not hold it to heart against them, for they know not what they do.

Ever since the attack, Federal Government, Groups have been condemning the attack calling it an embarrassment to the country. In a statement released by the chairman of NIDCOM, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, she stated that the attack is a shameful and pathetic event. She disclosed that some of the culprits who perpetrated the act had been apprehended and the German government and law enforcement agencies will ensure that the culprits will face the consequences.

Attacking a whole Deputy Senate President of a country in the diaspora is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If a citizen/citizens is/are dissatisfied with the performance of a legislator there is a constitutional way of dealing with them without resulting into physical assaults.

The constitutional means citizens can use in dealing with such senator’s is the Recall Process. The process for recalling a Senator is contained in Section 69 of the 1999 Constitution.

A recall is the process through which a validly elected Senator may be removed from his/her seat in the Senate. It is a voting process where the electorate decide via a referendum (a yes or no vote) whether they want the Senator to remain for the rest of his term or whether he should be recalled.

First thing to do is PETITON. You must get a signed petition by more than one-half of the persons registered to vote in that senator’s constituency alleging their loss of confidence in the Senator. The petition must be signed, and arranged according to polling units, wards, Local Government Areas, and constituency.

After get the petition signed, take it to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in which if the petition is valid, the Commission will proceed to notify the Senator sought to be recalled, stating that it has received a petition for the recall of the Senator.

If the minimum requirements for a referendum are met, the INEC will then conduct a referendum within 90 days of receipt of the petition.

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 a referendum is carried out and the voters in that constituency vote to recall the Senator, then the Chairman of the INEC is obliged to send a Certificate of Recall to the Senate President to effect the recall.

Although, the process for recalling a Senator seems a bit complex and by design needs a lot of organization and mass mobilization which get people discouraged but it’s still the best option to deal with a Senator when citizens are dissatisfied with his/her performance.