Dino Melaye Recall: We’re In No Position To Know False Signatures – INEC
Mr Rotimi Oyakanmi, who is the Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has said that the electoral body could not ascertain fake signatures in the failed recall process of Senator Dino Melaye.
Oyekanmi, who appeared as a guest on a breakfast show, Sunrise Daily aired on Channels Television explained that INEC followed due process as spelt out in the law in the conduct of Saturday’s exercise in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital against the lawmaker.
“We are in no position to know which signature is false or is not false,” he said on Monday. “And that exactly is what the verification exercise is intended to look into and then make a determination.”
Senator Melaye, who represents Kogi West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, had his woes compounded with the recall process initiated against him by some of the constituents whose interests he represents.
But the senator finally scaled through the hurdle of securing his job as a federal legislature after Saturday’s exercise initiated by INEC failed as the verified signatories to the petition for his recall fell short of requirements.
For the verification exercise to succeed, 50 percent plus one of the signatories to the petition had to be verified.
However, based on the results announced by Professor Ukertor Gabriel Moti, the Declaration Officer for the exercise held in the senatorial district on Saturday, only 18,742 of the 189,870 of the signatories to the petition for the Senator’s recall were verified by INEC.
To the INEC boss’ spokesperson, the commission played its part by receiving the petition filed by some constituents against Melaye by inviting stakeholders for a town hall meeting.
He added, “INEC has demonstrated by what happened on Saturday that you cannot get through with an impacted situation and it was very clear that it would not pass that test because the verification showed very clearly that the petitioners did not have what it takes to enable us to go ahead with the referendum stage.”
If the number of signatures reached 50.1 percent, it implies that the commission would have gone ahead with the recall process by calling for a referendum, thereby sacking the lawmaker and paving way for the election of another senator representing the district.