How To Recall A Silent Senator

October 12, 2020

Citizen is a column that explains how the government’s policies fucks citizens and how we can unfuck ourselves.

National Assembly blocking electronic transmission of election results

You can recall your Senator. Many of them have refused to make laws that are focused on making the life of the average Nigerian youth better. And as we focus on the #EndSARS movement, I think it is important that we remember our many rights as Nigerian citizens.


Read: We Stand With The #EndSARS Movement


This is the definitive process of how you can recall your Senator from office.

A Recall

A recall is a process through which voters and electorates can remove a validly elected representative from office.

The recall process for Nigerian Senators and members of the House of Representatives is contained in Section 69 of the 1999 constitution (as amended).

Section 110 of the Constitution also states the recall process for House of Assembly members, while Section 116 of the Electoral Act, 2010 talks about the recall process for a member of an Area Council.

How To Recall A Senator or Representative:

1) Petition:

A member of the Senate or the House of Representatives can be recalled if there is a petition signed by more than half of the people registered to vote in that person’s constituency stating their loss of confidence in the public official.

This petition must be presented to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).


Read: INEC Declares Obaseki Winner of Edo Election


2) Verification

Once INEC receives this petition, it crosschecks the petition to verify that it has truly been signed by more than half of the total registered voters in that constituency and if the petition process has been in line with the law.

This is how the verification process works:

  • INEC will notify the Senator, Representative or Area Council member about to be recalled, telling the person that it has received a petition for their recall;
  • INEC will issue a public notice stating the date, time and location for the verification process;
  • The verification process will be conducted at the polling units of the elected official, and INEC will try to match the signatures on the petition to the people who actually signed them. These signatories must also appear in the Voters’ Register.
  • If the numbers verified is validly found to be less than half of the registered voters in that constituency, then the recall process will be dismissed, and INEC will write to the petitioners stating that the minimum requirements for a referendum were not met.

3) Referendum

A referendum is a direct vote where voters answer either “YES” or “NO” to a proposal.

Section 69 (b) of the Constitution states that a referendum must be conducted by INEC within ninety days (90) of the receipt of the petition.

The referendum will be a “Yes” or “No” vote on whether the Senator, Representative or Area Council Member should be recalled. And if a simple majority of the voters registered to vote in that official’s constituency vote “Yes”, the elected official stands recalled.

The Chairman of INEC must send a Certificate of Recall to the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives or the Chairman of an Area Council to effect the recall.

We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about how to unfuck yourself when the Nigerian government moves mad. Check back every weekday for more Zikoko Citizen explainers.

Doyin Olagunju

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