Kogi West: Melaye's petitions can't stop November 30 supplementary poll - INEC declares

Kogi West: Melaye's petitions can't stop November 30 supplementary poll - INEC declares

- INEC has said that it would not postpone the supplementary election in Kogi state

- The eletoral umpire is conducting supplementary election in some polling units in Kogi West senatorial district and the Ajaokuta federal constituency on Saturday, November 30

- Dino Melaye, the PDP's candidate, had written petitions against the INEC and called for the postponement of the election

Despite the petitions written against the conduct of Saturday, November 16, in Kogi West senatorial district of Kogi state, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has ruled out any postponement of the rerun holding on Saturday, November 30, in the state.

Daily Trust reports that the chief press secretary to the INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, in an exclusive interview on Thursday, November 28, said that his boss, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, noted that there were no reasons the November 16 elections should be cancelled or the re-run postponed.

Legit.ng gathered that when asked on the twin-petition of the former senator Dino Melaye, Oyekanmi said the commission is a product of the law and as a law-abiding organisation would continue to operate within the ambit of the law, saying Melaye’s petition could not be a reason to postpone the elections.

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“There are provisions in the electoral act as amended on the basis upon which elections may be postponed. Individual petitions cannot replace the provisions of the law, including the section 26 of the electoral act,” he said.

The commission had last week fixed November 30, for the conduct of the supplementary and re-run elections after Melaye’s protests at the headquarters of the commission, where he demanded the cancellation of the election and submitted document and video evidences supporting his demand.

The electoral umpire also said it would continue to use and deploy the Smart Card Reader (SCR) in all elections including Saturday’s supplementary elections in the Kogi West senatorial district and the Ajaokuta federal constituency and Sabuwa state constituency elections.

The INEC national commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Festus Okoye, said this on Thursday, November 28, in Abuja.

He said the clarification became necessary due to remarks attributed to him at a programme in Abuja, which gave the impression that the SCR are no longer useful in the electoral process.

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“To the contrary, the national commissioner spoke in the context of attempts by some political interests to willfully by-pass the Smart Card Reader during elections to inflate their votes. They do this against the backdrop of the Supreme Court decision that the SCR is not to be used exclusively to determine over-voting," he said.

He said INEC would continue to work with the National Assembly and all the critical stakeholders to reduce malpractices in the electoral process, including over-voting.

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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the INEC started the distribution of sensitive materials ahead of the rerun slated for Saturday, November 30, in Kogi West senatorial district and the Ajaokuta federal constituency.

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Source: Legit.ng

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