SENATOR Dino Melaye has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) to cancel the recent by-elections in Kogi West Senatorial District because their credibility was marred with rigging and violence.
Last weekend, voters in Kogi West Senatorial District went to the polls to participate in the rescheduled elections after Nigerian Court of Appeal had nullified the original ones that took place in February. In what was a two-horse race between Senator Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former senator Smart Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the elections was characterised with thuggery, ballot box snatching, violence and intimidation.
As a result, Inec declared the results inconclusive, saying that there needs to be re-runs in some polling units where irregularities took place. However, Senator Melaye has visited Inec’s headquarters in Abuja, asking that the whole election be scrapped and a fresh set of polls conducted.
Received by Inec secretary, Rose Orianran-Anthony and the national commissioner and chairman of its information and voter education committee, Festus Okoye, Senator Melaye handed them a petition. It included 21 video clips containing details of violence and indiscriminate shootings by alleged agents of Kogi State government.
Reiterating his determination to retrieve the stolen mandate, in what he described as a battle of no retreat, no surrender, Senator Melaye got his lawyer Tobechukwu Nweke, to formally submit the petition.
The petition by Melaye dated November 18 2019 and entitled: “A call for cancellation of the Election for Kogi West Senatorial District held on November 16 2019 in certain areas”, was filed by his lawyer, Tobechukwu Nweke. Mr Okoye, who received the petition on behalf of the Inec chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, said the commission would look into the petition and take necessary action.
Part of the petition read: “In conclusion, sequel to the violence, gunshots and killings, disruption of the election, snatching of ballots, multiple thumb printing, several electoral malpractices, irregularities and total sabotage of the electoral process cut across all the seven local government areas in Kogi State, which were demonstrated in the video footage attached herein and the facts in paragraphs one to five above, which reveals that the election was not conducted in substantial compliance with the dictates of the Electoral Act, 2010, as well as the requisite guidelines and regulations issued for the election, we urge the commission to cancel the entire election to the Senate of Kogi West Senatorial District held on November 16 2019.”