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Melaye’s Recall: INEC ‘Must Prosecute’ Those who Forged Signatures

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Concerned Nigeria, a civil rights group, has asked the Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC) to prosecute those who put fake signatures in the register to recall Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west.

Melaye survived the bid to recall him from the upper legislative chamber after those in his constituencies did not partake in the verification of signatures by INEC.

One of the challenges which marred the exercise was forged signatures.

While monitoring the exercise, TheCable observed that some of the names on the register did not have accompanying signatures or thumbprints.

At polling unit 6, ward A, Abu Hassana and Abu Saratu whose names were following each other, had one fingerprint against their names, same with Achimugu Katrine and Achimugu Abraham.

Responding to the irregularities in a statement on Sunday, Deji Adeyanju, convener of the group, asked INEC to act.

“We observed yesterday with dismay the charade called the recall of senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye,” the statement read.

“The recall according to our team of observers who were on ground to witness the process was fraught with irregularities, manipulations and forgery.

“We are calling on INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu to prosecute all those who played a role in perpetrating forgery and also conniving with the initiators of Senator Melaye’s recall to smuggle in names of dead persons and those who never appended their signatures to the purported list asking for the recall of Senator Dino Melaye as this portends serious dangers for the 2019 elections.

“If Professor Mahmood Yakubu fails to do this, it will therefore mean he lacks the moral value to continue as INEC chairman since all these things happened under his watch.

“We are calling on the Independent National Electoral Commission to as a matter of urgency investigate and prosecute those responsible for the names that were smuggled into the list.”

The group also asked those whose signatures were allegedly forget to challenge the illegality in court.

“We equally enjoin the electorate whose names were fraudulently included in the recall list to approach the court for redress as our organisation, Concerned Nigerians is willing to provide legal services and other supports for the affected persons to get justice,” the statement read.

“Most of the electorate we spoke with told us in confidence that they neither wrote nor signed the purported list calling for the recall of Senator Dino Melaye.

“INEC and it’s officials must ensure such people stop making mockery of our democratic system and allow the people to freely make their democratic choice as regards who govern or represent them at all times.”

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