BY OUR REPORTERS—-The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday announced it has commenced the recall process of Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West.
The electoral commission also announced April 28, 2018 as the commencement date for the recall.
Prof. James Apam, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Kogi State, disclosed this in Lokoja at a stakeholders’ meeting which had representatives of various political parties and other stakeholders in attendance.
He said that the commission’s position was based on the recent Court of Appeal ruling, while re assuring that the commission would adhere strictly to the pronouncement of the Court of Appeal which ordered the commission to restart the recall process.
He said that the process would start with verification of signatures of the electorate on the recall register, adding that at least 51 per cent of the signatures must be fully verified.
A referendum of the electorate would be conducted on May 5, adding that this would depend on the success of the verification exercise being able to verify at least 51 per cent of the signatures.
His words: “We will invite all those that signed the recall register to come forward to identify their signatures.
“ If this process is successful, the commission will proceed to the next stage where a referendum of all registered voters would be conducted.
“Here, voters will be asked to vote either yes or no to the question of whether they want Sen. Dino Melaye recalled.
“If they are able to meet the constitutional requirement of 51 per cent yes, the process moves to the next stage, but if it fails, the process stops,’’ Apam said.
He however assured that the commission would stop the process should the Supreme Court eventually rule against it, as as a law abiding body,
Speaking further on the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR), he said said the exercise would continue until 60 days to the February 16, 2019 date for the commencement of the general elections.
He said that between April 2017 and Tuesday, the commission had registered 196,912 fresh voters and effected 8,046 of voting points following approval of transfer applications received.
He also said that the commission, received 10,492 applications for replacement of damaged or lost Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and distributed 57,881 cards to those who registered before 2016.
Despite low turnout for collection, the REC boss said that about 210,000 PVCs were ready for collection.