Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday said it had not abandoned the criminal case of double registration against the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Voters Education and Information Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, said the Kogi State governor is currently shielded by the immunity clause which protects him against any form of prosecution.
He disclosed that the issue of the double registration would be reopened at the expiration of the governor’s immunity at the end of his tenure of office.
Three INEC staff were indicted in the case of governor’s double registration.
At the end of the investigations, two of the officials were dismissed, while an Assistant Director among them was suspended.
According to Okoye, “the case of double registration against the Kogi State governor has not been abandoned but there is nothing the commission can do now because he is still under immunity. But by the time the immunity expires, the commission will meet and take a decision on the next line of action.
“We started with our Staff who were implicated in the double registration first, while we have to wait until the governor ceases to enjoy immunity, which protects him against prosecution.”
When asked if the governor was indicted by preliminary investigations, Okoye replied: “There are various stages involved, you have to investigate, prosecute and convict or acquit. You cannot just conclude that one is guilty or innocent without exhausting the entire process. So when we get to that bridge we cross it.”