Senator Dino Melaye has said that some of the signatories the Independent Electoral National Commission (INEC) received for his recall are from dead people.
INEC will on July 3, publicly verify the signatures received from the Kogi-west constituents to recall Dino Melaye from the 8th National Assembly.
The drama between Senator Dino Melaye and members of his constituents asking for his return home is only getting more interesting.
In a recent development, Dino Melaye has said that some of the 188,850 voters whose signatures officially presented their desire to have the senator recalled were dead.
Malam Abubakar Sadiq, a legislative aide to the senator said some of the names and signatures presented to INEC were of dead people showing that the process was being manipulated.
The name and signature of Late Chief Rotimi Obadofin precisely from Iya-Gbede axis, a former governorship aspirant of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state, was said to be on the list as was Late Abdullahi Abubakar, his immediate younger sister Late Halima Lawal Abubakar and Ibrahim Adama of Unit Code 021, Adankolo Ring Road in Ward ‘A’, Lokoja Local Government Council.
“Let me also sound authoritatively that here in Lokoja Local Government Council, several others whose names and signatures appeared on the list of the signatories to this failed exercise were identified and known to us as being dead long before now”, Sadiq said.
Again, his grouse with state governor, Yahya Bello comes to fore as he accused him of orchestrating the recall and funding it with a sum of N1.2 billion. He added that the number of signatures received was way above the number of registered voters in the last senatorial election (188,850 signatures as against 111,000 registered voters in 2015).
Chief Press Secretary to the state governor, Mrs. Petra Onyegbule, has asked the senator not to worry about the statistics of the process and leave INEC to verify or disqualify the signatures they have received.
“There is nothing for the distinguished senator to be worried about. INEC has set July 3, for the public verification of signatures and the date is around the corner; there is no point burning their energies all over the place”, Onyegbule said.
When the process to recall a senator in Nigeria constitutionally surfaced online, Nigerians shrugged with indifference at the Kogi-west constituents and their lofty dreams. Even Dino Melaye ridiculed the process apparently thinking what most others thought: they would get tired out and throw in the towel.
In a twist of events, the senate has received a petition signed by about 188,000 voters and INEC has fixed a date to verify the signatures and make a verdict, the voice of the masses resounding louder than the ‘ajekun iya’ chant.
However, with allegations like this coming to fore, can we still say democracy and the rule of law saved the day? There’s apparently no love lost between Senator Melaye and Governor Bello. Is this democracy at play or two elephants trampling the peace of the forest?
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