By Boluwaji Obahopo
LOKOJA—The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said despite the issuance of new voter’s card to Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, he has not been left off the hook over the double registration issue, saying its decision on prosecuting him after his tenure still stands.
INEC said what it did was to process Bello’s right to have his voter’s card based on legal advice.
This was INEC’s submission at an interactive session with newsmen and civil society organisations in Lokoja, yesterday.
Presiding over the meeting, the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Professor James Apam, explained that the commission is not unaware of the circumstances that heralded the governor’s transfer of his card from Abuja to Kogi State.
His words: “We have not gone back on our stand against Governor Yahaya Bello over the double registration. But we have nothing to hold him now. And based on legal advice, we have to allow him transfer his voter’s card from Abuja to Okene.”
He continued: “The allegations against him have not taken away his rights to demand a transfer. What we did is that we treated his matter distinctly— double registration on one side, request for transfer of voter’s card on another side. But I must tell you, the allegations against him are still hanging.”
The REC also called on registered voters to come out and collect their permanent voters’ cards, PVCs, saying 202,289 are yet to be collected, representing 10 percent of the total registered voters in the state.
He said the commission, under the ongoing continuous voters’ registration, has registered 176,886 persons as at February, while 7,169 persons within the period have successfully transferred their PVCs and 9,400 cards were replaced.