© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
OFFICIAL: Dino Melaye’s recall process fails as INEC records paltry 5.3% signature verification
While still at the intensive care unit of the National Hospital, Abuja, Dino Melaye, controversial Kogi West senator, could heave a sigh of relief as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has called of the process to recall him from the senate.
This follows the obvious boycott of the exercise conducted by INEC at Melaye’s senatorial district on Saturday, where constituents were expected to come out to verify their signatures on the petition they purportedly signed, calling for Melaye’s recall.
According to the result announced by Ukertor Moti, a professor and INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in charge of Benue State, only 5.34% signatures of the petitioners was verified, way less than the 50% plus one that is required by the constitution and the electoral act to recall a sitting lawmaker.
Announcing the result early on Sunday, Moti noted that the total of registered voters in Kogi West was 351, 140, out of which 189, 870 voters purportedly signed the petition to recall Melaye. But only 20,868 signatories turned out to verify their signatures.
Of that number, only 18,743 signatures were verified at the end of the exercise which lasted from 8 am to 2 pm on Saturday.
Had the required percentage of signatures been verified, INEC would have commenced the next stage of the recall process, which is the referendum stage.
“I hereby affirm that the information on verification of signatures to the petition for the recall of Senator Dino Melaye of Kogi West Senatorial District has taken place on this date April 28, 2018 and that the verified signatures is 5.34% of the total number of registered voters in the constituency and has therefore not satisfied the requirements the law for a referendum,” Moti announced.
Moti also announced that there was violence at Mopa LGA towards the end of the exercise. Six polling units were said to have been attacked by hoodlums, a Civil Defence personnel was beaten up and police officers on duty were threatend.
This resulted in the cancelation of the exercise at six out of the 10 wards in the LGA.
A breakdown of how the exercise played out at the various local government areas in Kogi West is as follows:
|S/N||LGA||No of Reg. Voters||No of signatures on petition||No of verified signatures|
|1||Koton Karfe||46,727||24,459||2, 335|
|2||Kabba Bunu||59,319||27, 910||2, 085|
|3||Ijumu||46, 810||24, 389||2, 664|
|4||Yagba East||35, 329||18, 229||3, 506|
|5||Mopa Amuro||18, 350||9, 173||710|
|6||Yagba West||35, 506||19, 444||3, 729|
|7||Lokoja||109, 105||66, 266||3, 763|
Melaye is currently at the National Hospital, Abuja, where he is being treated for injuries he sustained while trying to escape from police custody on Wednesday. He was arrested for alleged criminal conspiracy.
The Nigerian police had declared Melaye wanted for allegedly providing guns to suspected kidnappers and armed robbers. Jimoh Moshood, spokesman of the police, said two arrested suspects had confessed that Melaye supplied them the guns with which they carried out their operations.
Melaye has been arraigned in court and he pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was subsequently released on bail.