James Emejo in Abuja
The deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 gubernatorial election in Kogi State, Hon. James Abiodun Faleke, has cautioned the state Governor, Yahaya Bello, against involving President Muhammadu Buhari into his double voter registration saga with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In a statement issued yesterday, Faleke said the governorâ€™s decision to register with the electoral commission multiple times was not only shameful but an attitude that is opposite to the principles that the president stands for.
Faleke, who is the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Customs, however advised Bello to stop dragging the name of the president in the mud and deal with his decision to embark on double registration.
Bello had been accused of double registration by the electoral umpire and sacked three of its staff involved in the illegal action.
The electoral body also said it would have prosecuted the governor but for the immunity he enjoys.
Nonetheless, the governor had during a media interview last Monday denied any involvement in the double registration accusation, claiming that having received regular mentorship from Buhari, he has always operated above board in his official duties.
However, Faleke said: â€œYahaya Bello should stop using the presidentâ€™s name to commit illegality. I make bold to tell the governor that he has disgraced the good people of Kogi State with his criminal act of double registration.
â€œI can confirm that Bello did his first registration in Abuja on January 30, 2011, while he did the second illegal registration on May 22, 2017 at the Government House, Lokoja.
â€œI challenge him to go to court on this. It is an incontrovertible fact. The governor ought to have known that for a body like INEC to come up with such a decision, it must have gotten its facts right.
Â â€œAfter the registration, the governorâ€™s camp in wild celebration to prove that the governor had succeeded in registering in Kogi State at last, went to town with pictures of the registration process backed by statement signed by the Director-General of his media team, Kingsley Fanwo, explaining why the governor had to re-register in Kogi.
Â â€œIt is very unfortunate that the governor even went ahead to induce some INEC staff to remove the hard-drive from the computer.â€