Kogi West: We Are Constitutionally Obliged To Conclude Election, Says INEC

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has firmed up preparations to conclude the Kogi West senatorial district rerun for Saturday, November 30.

The November 16 election in the senatorial district was declared inconclusive by the returning officer, Professor Olayinde Lawal, because the margin between the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Smart Adeyemi and that of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Dino Melaye was 20,570.

Professor Lawal explained that the total margin between both candidates was lower than the 43,127 registered voters in 53 polling units of 20 registration areas in the zone where elections were cancelled.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Lunchtime Politics, the Chairman, Voter Education, and Information, Festus Okoye, stated that the commission is constitutionally obliged to conclude the elections.

“The supplementary elections in Kogi West will go ahead tomorrow because it was the collation/returning officer for that particularly senatorial district that declared the election as inconclusive and we have a constitutional and legal obligation to conclude that election and we are going to conclude it tomorrow.”

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He clarified allegations of unfair usage of the smart card reader during the election while adding that the electoral umpire will continue to use the device in all elections.

“The smart card reader is innovative, creative and novel and was designed to bolster the credibility of the accreditation process. It is incumbent on every presiding officer to use the smart card reader for the purposes of accreditation.

Mr Okoye revealed that the commission received complaints of card reader malfunction in some polling units, and if the usage is resisted, zero votes will be recorded.

“There is no doubt whatsoever that in a few places, there were reports of smart card reader malfunction and we had sufficient redundancies and we intervened speedily and restored the smart card readers in the polling unit.

“We also received a few reports of attempts to bypass the use of the smart card readers and all the presiding officers have very clear instructions that if there is over-voting in any polling unit, the result should be cancelled.

“If any community or political force resists the use of the smart card reader, zero votes should be recorded for that particular polling unit,” he stated.

Kogi West: Get Ready For Supplementary Senatorial Election, PDP Tells Members

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked its members to prepare for a triumphant supplementary election for Kogi West Senatorial District.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) fixed the 30th of November for the conduct of the supplementary election in Kogi West Senatorial District after its returning officer; Professor Olayinde Lawal announced that the poll to fill the senatorial seat was inconclusive.

The party in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, charged members to unite in readiness against any repressive forces that may attempt to forcefully invade any polling unit.

“The party calls on all its members, supporters, citizens and voters in Kogi West to unite in readiness against any repressive forces that may attempt to forcefully invade any polling unit, disrupt the electoral process or alter results as witnessed in the November 16 elections.

“The PDP notes that Kogi State and particularly Kogi West, remains its home and the people are not ready to stomach the kind of impunity exhibited by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 16 polls.”

READ ALSO: Buhari Orders Thorough Investigation Into Killing Of Kogi PDP Woman Leader

The PDP also asked security agencies and the INEC not to give in to any pressure as such will attract serious consequences.

“The PDP cautions security agents as well as officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to pander to repressive forces, who seek to subvert the will of the people, as such is capable of attracting dire consequences.

“The PDP is mourning our compatriots slain by the APC on November 16 and restates that their death will never be in vain.”

Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Smart Adeyemi is currently leading with 80,118 votes, while the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Dino Melaye has 59,548 votes.

INEC stressed that the margin between both candidates is 20,570 and it is less than the 43,127 registered voters in 53 polling units of 20 registration areas in the zone where elections were cancelled.

Kogi West Rerun: Melaye Rejects Results, Describes Poll As Helicopter Election

 

Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Kogi West Senatorial District rerun election, Dino Melaye, has condemned the results, calling it ‘fictitious’.

Mr. Melaye who spoke to journalists in Abuja, alleged that the November 16 election was marred by compromise, extreme violence, and rigging.

“The innovation is that what we had is what I have christened ‘Helicopter election’. For the first time, rigging has been advanced to the level that now the use of a helicopter in perpetuating this electoral atrocity manifested yesterday.

“Helicopter hovering around Polling units in Lokoja, dropping bullets on innocent, harmless citizens and electorate; and as I speak, yesterday, teargas being fired from this helicopter.”

READ ALSO: YIAGA Africa Calls On INEC To Conduct Fresh Governorship, Senatorial Elections In Kogi

He added that the violence witnessed in his community should give the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) reasons to stop the collation of results on Sunday.

“Despite the fact that this helicopter was used in harassing, intimidating and firing innocent electorates, the votes of those places were carted away and taken to the government house, stuffed and brought back to the collation centre and they have been accepted and admitted and collation is ongoing.

“They brought mayhem on my own community and even killed my nephew, we are waiting to see what INEC will do, but I reject in totality, this fictitious result and I want to say that all these are not about the election, it is about Dino Melaye,” he stated.

On October 11, the Appeal Court ordered a rerun election in Kogi West Senatorial District between Senator Dino Melaye of the PDP and Senator Smart Adeyemi of the APC.

Kogi Elections: Smart Adeyemi Votes

 

Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Kogi West Senatorial District rerun election, Smart Adeyemi has cast his ballot.

Mr Adeyemi voted at about 11:15 am in Iyara 002 ward, Aiyetoro, Ijumu Local Government Area in Kogi state.

READ ALSO: Dino Melaye Votes In Kogi West Senatorial Race

Earlier, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dino Melaye also cast his vote for the Kogi West Senatorial District in Iluafor polling unit 004, Ayetoro 1 at around 9:14 am.

Dino Melaye Votes In Kogi West Senatorial Race

 

Dino Melaye has cast his vote in the rerun elections for the Kogi West Senatorial District.

The former lawmaker, who was sacked by the Elections Petitions Tribunal in Kogi in August, cast his ballot at 9:14 am in Open space, Iluafor polling unit 004, Ayetoro 1.

READ ALSO: Kogi Elections: Governor Yahaya Bello, Wife Vote

Senator Melaye, candidate of the People’s Democratic Party for the senatorial election, was declared a winner in the February 2019 National Assembly election but Senator Smart Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) approached the tribunal and challenged Dino’s victory, citing irregularities, over voting and non-compliance with the electoral acts.

The tribunal in a unanimous judgment ordered a fresh election in the senatorial district.

PHOTOS: Residents Set To Vote In Kogi West District

Photos: Channels TV/Sodiq Adelakun

Voters in Kogi west senatorial district are gradually coming out to cast their ballot for the governorship and senatorial election.

The ad-hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) arrived the Ajayi Crowther Memorial School in Lokoja at 7 am to begin set up and distribution of sensitive materials.

Channels Television gathered that security operatives arrived at 7:42 am which signalled the distribution of election materials to other polling units in the state.

See photos below:

I Will Beat Melaye ‘Arms Down’ In Fresh Election, Says Adeyemi

Kogi West: Smart Adeyemi Is 'My Political Wife' – Melaye
Dino Melaye, Smart Adeyemi

 

Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Kogi West Senatorial District election, Smart Adeyemi, says he will beat Senator Dino Melaye arms down in the fresh elections ordered by the Court of Appeal in a ruling on Friday.

Senator Melaye lost his appeal on the grounds that his application challenging the judgment of the Tribunal could not prove the allegations that he was not given a fair hearing.

Senator Adeyemi in a short message alleged that Senator Melaye had never won any election, owing to manipulations.

“Dino has never won any election, it’s all manipulations. But the judiciary has further reinstated our hope and that it’s the last hope of the masses.”

READ ALSO: ‘No Tension, No Pains’, Melaye Reacts To Defeat (Full Statement)

He further stated that both Melaye and he have no comparison, and he is sure of clinching the ticket in fresh polls conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“There’s no basis for comparison between me and Dino, if INEC conducts election again, I will beat him arms down.”

Meanwhile, Senator Melaye, in reaction to the judgment which sacked him as the lawmaker representing Kogi West senatorial district, said, “Court judgment is human judgment, I believe in the divine I mean God’s judgment.”

‘Our Mandate Cannot Be Taken,’ Melaye Vows To Appeal Tribunal Ruling

Police To Rearraign Dino Melaye Tuesday, On Fresh Charges
A file photo of Senator Dino Melaye

 

Senator Dino Melaye has vowed to appeal the court ruling which sacked him as Senator representing Kogi West and ordered for fresh election in Kogi West Senatorial District.

Melaye disclosed this in a Tweet on his official handle where he noted that his mandate cannot be taken.

He also made known his intention to be Kogi State Governor.

READ ALSO: Tribunal Sacks Dino Melaye As Senator, Orders Fresh Election

 

Melaye also released a statement and described the tribunal ruling as a total miscarriage of justice.

“The judgement is full of importation of information that is alien to the case. I, however, commend the courage and moral strength of the chairman of the tribunal for resisting evil and standing on the path of justice.

“I have confidence in the Appeal Court to right the wrongs contained in the pronouncements of the judgement,” he said.

Melaye in the statement also added that “I also want to tell those jubilating that their jubilation will be short-lived while appealing to my teeming supporters to remain calm as their mandate is safe and secured and cannot be taken through any mischievous means.”

The Senator said his legal team is already working on appealing the judgment.

Melaye Accuses Council Chairman Of Assassination Attempt

Melaye Accuses Council Chairman Of Assassination AttemptThe lawmaker representing Kogi West senatorial district, Dino Melaye, has cried out over an alleged assassination attempt on his life by gunmen at his residence in Aiyetoro-Gbede Ijumu Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

Speaking to Channels Television, Senator Melaye accused the Administrator of Aiyetoro-Gbede Ijumu LGA, Honourable Taofiq Isa, of masterminding the attack because of his criticism of the State Government.

He said the assailants invaded his residence at about 12:00am on Saturday, shooting sporadically in the building.

The lawmaker added that two of his vehicles parked within the premises were damaged, while part of the building was destroyed.

In a swift reaction to the allegation, Honourable Isa, who denied the accusation, wondered why Senator Melaye claimed he was attacked.

Contrary to the claims, the LGA Administrator said he only heard that the lawmaker came to Aiyetoro with policemen who allegedly shot sporadically to scare people away.

He, however, disclosed that he has set up a 10-man committee to investigate the incident.

Also, the State Commissioner of Police, Wilson Inalegwu, said he has visited the senator’s residence, adding that the Police have commenced investigation.

The Police Commissioner promised to make the report of the investigation public as soon as it was concluded.

Election Petition Tribunal Upholds Senator Saraki’s Victory

Election Petition Tribunal Upholds Senator Saraki’s VictoryThe Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ilorin has upheld the election of Senator Bukola Saraki representing Kwara Central Constituency.

The ruling was given by the leading judge of the tribunal, Justice Josiah Majebi, on Tuesday in Kwara State, North Central Nigeria.

Justice Majebi dismissed the petitions of the co contestant, Abdulrasak Abdulrahman, noting that the complaints of the petitioner lacks merit and threw out the case in favour of the Senate President.

Another Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lokoja, Kogi State had on Monday, affirmed the election of the senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Dino Melaiye.

In another development last week Friday, Senator Uche Ekwunife, representing Anambra Central Senatorial zone, was declared winner of the March 28 Senatorial Election by an Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Awka, Anambra State.

Tribunal Upholds Dino Melaye’s Election

APCThe National Assembly and State Houses Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lokoja, Kogi State on Monday affirmed the election of the senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Dino Melaiye.

The tribunal in its judgment, that lasted two hours, dismissed the petition brought by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Smart Adeyemi against the declaration of Melaiye as the winner of the election.

According to Justice Akon Ikepeme-led tribunal, the four issues formulated for determination were resolved in favour of the respondents.

The court said the petitioner did not prove the allegation of corrupt practices made against the respondents as he did not justify the claim that votes were allotted to the first respondents indiscriminately.

It also said since the onus of proof lies on the petitioner, he had failed to show the ward by ward, polling unit by unit malpractices that were alleged to have been perpetrated during the March 28 election.

The tribunal also held that Adeyemi was unable to prove the case of non-compliance with the Electoral Act, maintaining that though there were cases of malpractices but such did not substantially affect the result of the election.

It stated that it could not uphold the petition as the petitioner failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he scored the highest number of lawful votes cast in the election.

On the allegation of non-qualification of Melaiye to contest the election over failure to participate in party primary election, the court said two reports were tendered on the conduct of the primary election.

The tribunal noted that while one originated from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lokoja claiming there was no primary, another one was tendered by the respondents, which was said to have emanated from INEC headquarters affirming the conduct of the primary election.

Justice Ikpeme however said the tribunal had no reason to doubt the authenticity of the reports brought by the witnesses as the results attached to them were the same.

The tribunal therefore said it found and held that Melaiye was validly returned as the candidate of the party, who polled the majority of the lawful votes cast, refusing all the five reliefs sought by Adeyemi.

More Details Soon….

Senator Distributes Ambulances To Hospitals In Kogi State

The senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Smart Adeyemi has presented 24 ambulances, hospital equipment and jeeps worth millions of Naira, as well as 100 lock up shops to the people of the state.

The senator made the presentation at the open field of Anglican Science Secondary School Iyara, the headquarters of Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State.

The Kogi State Governor, Idris Wada had weeks before this presented ambulances to some local governments in the state, adding to the existing ones after paying their counterpart fund, but the ambulances were still not enough, as many hospitals in the state still lacked facilities.

Senator Adeyemi therefore decided to compliment the state government’s effort by providing the 24 ambulances and hospitals equipment which he distributed to state, federal and local government owned hospitals in the state, including the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC.

The donor explained that the ambulances and hospital equipment were acquired in order to improve the quality of lives of the people in the state and to reduce mortality, owing to the fact that it would enhance easy access to speedy and quality healthcare services.

Adeyemi added that he had been providing social basic amenities to complement the state government infrastructural development, assuring that he would never betray the mandate given to him.

He urged the people of the state not to leave the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to other parties in the country, saying that the PDP is the party for Nigeria.

The PDP National Secretary, Professor Wale Oladapo, commended Adeyemi for the good work. He also seized the opportunity to canvass for his party, the People’s Democratic Party. He stated that all those who work for the party would be rewarded at the end of the day.

In his speech, Governor Idris Wada commended the senator for embarking on projects that would touch the lives of the citizens of Kogi State, he appealed to the people to use the equipment with care, while urging others to emulate the philanthropic gesture of the senator so as to complement the government.

The commissioning ceremony also had in attendance the royal fathers, Kogi State Road Safety Sector Commander, the Chief Medical Director of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, Chief Medical Director of the Specialist Hospital Lokoja, PDP members, Kogi State Executive Council members, and the Deputy Governor Yomi Awoniyi.