Melaye survives recall, retains Kogi West senatorial seat

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*Voters checking their names during the verification. Inset, Melaye

Group calls for prosecution of behind forged signatures

The recall of the senator representing Kogi West senatorial district, Mr. Dino Melaye which was characterised by political horse trading for some time has come to an end with the verification exercise flopping.

Results announced by INEC today in Lokoja, Kogi State, at the end of the exercise on Saturday showed that only 18,742 signatories to the recall petition were verified out of the 189,870 signatories on the petition.

The verified signatories fell well below the requirement of the law that 50 per cent and one of the signatories must be verified before the recall process can continue.

It represents 5.34 percent of the 351,146 registered voters in the Senatorial district.

Consequently, Melaye, who has been in the hospital where he is being treated for the injuries he sustained while jumping off a moving police vehicle that ferried him to Kogi State for trial in an alleged arms deal, has retained his seat in the national assembly.

Announcing the results today, the official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in charge of the election, Prof. Ukertor Gabriel Moti declared: “I, Professor Ukertor Gabriel Moti, affirm that the information on verification of signatures to the petition for the recall of Senator Dino David Melaye of Kogi West Senatorial District has taken place on this day, 28th day of April 2018, and that the verified signatures is 5.34 per cent of the total number of registered voters in the constituency and has therefore not satisfied a requirement of the law for a referendum.”

Below is a breakdown of the result from the recall process in each council area in the senatorial district.

Koton Karfe

Total number of registered voters – 46,727

Total number of signatures on the petitions – 24,459

Total number of signatures at verification – 2,566

Total number of signatures verified – 2, 335

Kabba Bunu

Total number of registered voters – 59,319

Total number of signatures on the petitions – 27,910

Total number of signatories at verification – 2,151

Total number of signatures verified – 2,085.

Ijumu

Total number of registered voters – 46,810

Total number of signature on the petition – 24,389

Total number of signatures at verification – 2,811

Total numbers of signatures verified – 2,664.

*Summary of the results

Yagba East

Total number of registered voters – 35,329

Total numbers of signature on the petition – 18,229

Total numbers of signatures at verification – 3,580

Total number of signatures verified – 3,506

Mopa Amuro

Total number of registered voters – 18, 350

Total numbers of signatures on the petition – 9,173

Total numbers of signatures at verification – 729

Total numbers of signatures verified – 710

Yagba West

Total numbers of registered voters – 35,506

Total number of signatures on the petition – 19,444

Total number of signatures at verification – 4,221

Total number of signatures verified – 3,729

Lokoja

Total numbers of registered voters – 109,105

Total numbers of signatures on the petition – 66,266

Total numbers of signatures at verification – 4,810

Total numbers of signatures verified – 3,763

It was reported that there was violence in Mopa Amuro towards the end of the exercise.

Six polling units were reportedly affected. Consequently, the exercise in six out of the 10 wards in the area council was cancelled.

Consequently, the council had the least number of verified signatories with 710 as against the 9,173 signatories that signed the petition.

Meanwhile, group under the auspices of Concerned Nigerians has called on INEC to prosecute those involved in forging signatures for the recall of the senator.

The group alleged that there were irregularities, manipulations and forgery during the recall process.

In a statement by its spokesman of the group, Theophilus Abu Agada, the group called on the INEC chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to prosecute all those who played a role in perpetrating forgery and also conniving with the initiators of Melaye’s recall to smuggle in names of those who never appended their signatures to the purported list, asking for the recall of the Senator as this portends serious dangers for the 2019 elections.

“If Prof. Mahmood Yakubu fails to do this, it will, therefore, mean he lacks the moral value to continue as INEC chairman since all these things happened under his watch.

“We equally enjoin the electorates whose names were fraudulently included in the recall list to approach the court for redress as our organisation, Concerned Nigerians is willing to provide legal services and other supports for the affected persons to get justice.

“Most of the electorates we spoke with told us in confidence that they neither wrote nor signed the purported list calling for the recall of Senator Dino Melaye.

“We are calling on the Independent National Electoral Commission to as a matter of urgency investigate and prosecute those responsible for the names that were smuggled into the list.

“INEC and its officials must ensure such people stop making a mockery of our democratic system and allow the people to freely make their democratic choice as regards who govern or represent them at all times,” said the group.

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