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Dino Melaye’s recall process begins but voters not turning out


Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District at the National Assembly, is currently at the intensive care unit of the National Hospital, Abuja, but the process to recall him from the senate has commenced as scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Melaye had lost a law suit seeking to stop INEC from going ahead with the recall process purportedly by his constituents, and consequently, the commission fixed Saturday, for the verification of signatures of the over two-thirds of registered voters who had signed the recall letter.

However, journalists who are currently monitoring the process reports that voters are not turning out even though INEC officials had set up in the several polling units across the wards making up Kogi West Senatorial District.

At unit 001, Open Mammy Market, opposite Chari Meigumeri Barracks, in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, voters were yet to arrive as at 11 am. The electoral officer on duty told reporters that few voters came to the centre, but only to ascertain whether their names were in the voter register, not to verify any signature.

Similarly, at polling unit 010, beside Kogi post office also in Lokoja, it was observed that not a single signature had been verified on the register two hours after the exercise begun.

The INEC official in charge said: “Since when we started at 8:30am, we have not been able to verify one signature. And some people’s name are not even on the list.”

Almost the same situation was observed at Unit 012, ward B.

“We left INEC office at 8:30am but we waited for another one hour before people started coming out,” the INEC official at the unit told TheCable, adding that “we have attended to only 20 persons in over two hours”.

According to the timetable released by INEC, the signature verification exercise is expected to end by 2 pm on Saturday.

James Apam, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Kogi State, had told journalists while announcing the recall process that “only those who signed the (recall) petition are expected to turn up at their polling units for verification”, adding that the exercise will not hold in eight polling units as no petition was received from them.

The result of the exercise will be announced on April 29.

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