Legislative aides to Senators and House of Representative members under the aegis of National Assembly Legislative Aides Forum have described as unconstitutional and fraudulent, the process which led to the imposition of Samuel Melaye, as Chairman of the association.
Samuel Melaye, a younger brother to Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West senatorial district, was accused by the forum of engaging fraudulent and unconstitutional means in ensuring his emergence against the wishes of members.
The Association in a statement issued today by its spokesperson, Mr. Yusuf Bamidele, said the continued imposition of Melaye on the forum by some elements in the National Assembly bureaucracy despite the election of Mr. Darlington Udeh as chairman of the forum on April 28, demonstrates crass disregard for the NASSLAF constitution, and the enthronement of impunity.
Citing sections of the NASSLAF constitution, Bamidele explained that the decision by the association to proceed with election of new officials into the executive committee was reached following the failure of the Clerk of the National Assembly to direct the call for election within six months of the inauguration of a new legislature as provided by the forum’s constitution.
According to the association’s spokesperson, Article 14 (4) of NASSLAF constitution provides that: “where the Clerk of the National Assembly does not call for election, 250 duly appointed members stating their file numbers shall summon a congress to initiate the process and communicate progress to the Clerk of the National Assembly provided that 75 signatories shall come from each of the chambers reflecting the six geo-political zones.”
He added that unlike the process which imposed Melaye as Chairman, the provisions of the NASSLAF constitution were fully complied with by the electoral process which led to the election of Mr. Darlington Udeh.
The statement reads in part: “It must be placed on record that any process which imposed Sam Melaye as Chairman of NASSLAF did not meet the provisions of the forum’s constitution.
“The implication therefore means that whatever arrangement was done, as contained in pictorial evidence to ensure his imposition as Chairman of the forum is illegal and fraudulent.”
“We are aware that Melaye alongside his cohorts organized a sham election which saw him first as chairman of the caretaker committee, and chairman of the electoral committee which now within three days produced him as Chairman of the executive committee of NASSLAF. The question worth asking here is how can a candidate standing for election be chairman of the elections committee at the same time? It goes to demonstrate the measure of impunity and disregard which Melaye and those behind him have for our constitution.
“It also has been brought to our notice that the same Melaye had severally boasted that he will emerge as chairman of the forum without elections being conducted. Let it be known to him that any attempt to impose him on legislative aides will be resisted as the association is not a family business.
“Also, all members of NASSLAF will not be intimidated by the use of security personnel inside and outside the National Assembly as the forum is determined to stand by the provisions of the constitution against all odds,” the statement said.