Melaye’s Recall Begins March 27 as INEC Panel on Kano Underage Voters Submits Report

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By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Independent National Electoral Commission has said that it would commence a new recall process on the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye by March 27, 2018.

This is as the investigative panel set up by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ascertain the truth on allegations of inclusion of underaged voters in the commission’s election register for Kano State has concluded its assignment and turned in its report to the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu on Friday

According to the commission, the decision to fix a new date for the recall was sequel to the recent judgement of the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division which removed all the legal encumbrances to carrying out of the exercise.

 In a statement signed by the Secretary to the Commission, Augusta Ogakwu, INEC said that the process would begin with the verification exercise at the commission’s office in Lokoja Local Government Area and end with the outcome of the verification on April 29.

The findings of the INEC committee which was set up on February 21 in the wake of public outcry on a video clip showing children voting during an election in Kano was however not made known as at Friday.

A statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC boss, Mr. Rotimi Oyekamni quoted Yakubu as saying that the Commission would consider and share the details of the report with the public in due course

According to its terms of reference, the panel was mandated to ascertain if the voter register requested by the Kano State Independent Electoral Commission was actually used in the Local Government Elections.

They were also tasked to “investigate the widespread reports that persons below the statutory age of 18 years voted using INEC’s register, engage with Stakeholders on issues related to the use of the voter register in the election and make any other recommendations which, in the opinion of the Committee, are relevant to its assignment”.

The INEC Spokesman’s statement did not give any further detail on the findings or recommendations of the committee chaired by National Commissioner, Engineer Abubakar Nahuche but said that it has completed its assignment and submitted report to the commission.