Chuks Okocha in Abuja
A former Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation , Senator Dino Melaye Wednesday submitted a five-page petition and 20 copies of DVD containing electoral malpractice to the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja, demanding the cancellation of the Kogi West Senatorial election.
Also in a swift response, the INEC national commissioner and chairman of Voters Education and Information and Publicity, Festus Okoye told Melaye that the commission would study his petition and take action where necessary.
INEC had declared the results of Kogi West senatorial election as inconclusive. The Returning Officer, Prof. Olayide Lawal, who made the declaration, said supplementary elections will be conducted. He said 53 polling units and 46,127 registered voters were affected, adding that INEC will announce the new date for the supplementary polls soon.
Melaye who was received by INEC Secretary, Rose Orianran-Anthony and National Commissioner/Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, came with some of his supporters.
The senator submitted alongside the five-page petition, 21 video clips disclosure of detailed violence and indiscriminate shootings by alleged agents of Kogi State government
He told reporters of his determination determination to retrieve the stolen mandate, saying it “is a battle of no retreat, no surrender.”
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.
Part of the petition reads, “In conclusion, sequel to the abovementioned spread 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 footages attached herein.
“And the facts in paragraphs 1-5 above which reveals that the election was not conducted in Kogi State Senatorial District, in substantial compliance with the dictates of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) 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.”
Reacting to the comment credited to the Inspector General of Police that fake police officers operated during the Saturday election in Kogi, Melaye said such was condemnable.
“If fake police officers overpowered over 66,000 security officers deployed for Kogi and Bayelsa, it means there is a problem in the country.
“If the police officers were fake, were the guns and bullets they used fake? Was fake police officers that were driving police vehicles and helicopters?” Malaye said.
Okoye who received the letter on behalf of INEC Chairman, assured Malaye that the commission would look into the petition.
He said that the commission would review the petition and the video CDs, consider the merit and get back to Melaye.
“We assure you that this commission is a public institution. We exist because political parties exist and because Nigeria people want democracy.
“We are going to collect your petition and the Chairman and his National Commissioners will look at it and we assure you that we are going to continue to serve Nigeria people and do justice in all circumstances,” Okoye said