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Melaye storms INEC office, seeks cancellation of Kogi West election

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Ibrahim Sha’aban
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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Dino Melaye, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate for Kogi West Senatorial poll, has called for total cancellation of the Nov. 16 election.

Mr Melaye disclosed this while submitting a petition at the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, headquarters in Abuja over the election on Wednesday.

The petition addressed to INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, was received by INEC National Commissioner, Festus Okoye and the Secretary to the Commission, Rose Oriaran-Anthony.

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Mr Melaye said he had also copied INEC National Commissioner supervising Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa.

He said that attached to the petition were 21 video CDs and documentary evidence to prove that there was no election in Kogi West on Nov. 16.

“The object of my petition is that I am demanding for the entire cancellation of the election.

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“The demand is based on electoral malpractices, violence, ballot boxes stocking, the use of helicopters to intimidate voters among other electoral crime committed on Nov. 16,’’ he said.

Mr Melaye alleged that the election results were manipulated and many lives were lost, including that of his nephew who was killed by hoodlums.

He said that he also have pictorial evidence of violence that took place during the election and the collation process.

“This is not an election; we are going to take it up and fight for our right to finish,’’ Mr Melaye said.

He said in the petition, dated Nov. 18 and signed by his lawyer; Tobechukwu Nweke that the 21 video discs captured total sabotage of the electoral process that marred the election in the area.

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Mr Melaye urged the commission to study painstakingly, the events captured in the said video discs, which reveal that election was not conducted in Kogi West and to cancel the entire election.

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He alleged that the election was not conducted in substantial compliance with the dictates of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) as well as requisite Guidelines and Regulations issued for the election.

“We urge the commission to cancel the entire election for the Senate in Kogi West held on Nov. 16,’’ he said.

Mr Melaye said that the claim that fake policemen operated during the election was condemn-able.
“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 used, fake?
“Were fake police men driving police vehicles and helicopters?’’ Mr Melaye asked.

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Mr Okoye who received the letter on behalf of INEC Chairman commended and assured Melaye 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 the commission is a public institution.

“We exist because political parties exist and because Nigerian 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 Nigerian people and do justice in all circumstances,’’ Mr Okoye said.

NAN

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