By Boluwaji Obahopo
LOKOJA—Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said, yesterday, that the proposed verification for recall of Senator Dino Melaye would go on as scheduled on Saturday.
Senator Melaye is currently on admission at National Hospital, Abuja, following injuries sustained as he allegedly attempted to avoid being taken to Kogi for trial by the police.
But Kogi State State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. James Apam, who stated this at a stakeholders’ meeting in Lokoja, said the commissioner would remain unbiased on the outcome of the exercise.
He said: “The verification exercise, which is the first in the line of activities to be carried out in a recall process, will be done on April 28, 2018, in 552 polling units in Kogi West Senatorial District out of 560 (since there were no petitions in eight polling units), while the declaration of the outcome of the exercise will be done at the lNEC local government area office in Lokoja on April 29, 2018.
“On the appointed day, the verification shall commence at 8 am and end at 2 pm in the polling units in the senatorial district, provided all petitioners are on the queue by 2 pm.
“Only those who signed the petition are expected to turn up at their polling units for verification. It is also important to state that according to the Constitution and Electoral Act, the petition would only be said to have been verified if at least 50 per cent plus one of the signatures or thumb prints of the registered voters in the constituency are verified.
“For this to be done, the petitioners must appear personally at their polling units for the exercise.
“We have concluded all arrangements in line with our schedule of activities and are set for the exercise. The ad-hoc staff have been trained at the state and local government levels and materials procured and sent to the Registration Area Centres ready for movement to the polling units on the day of verification.”
Apam said the card reader will be used to verify the authenticity of any petitioners who showed up for the exercise, adding that there will be no use for manual accreditation.