Kogi West: Dino Melaye heads to tribunal

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the Kogi West senatorial district supplementary election, Senator Dino Melaye, has vowed to approach the election petition tribunal if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) fails to review the outcome of the November 16 Appeal Court ordered rerun.

The INEC had returned the verdict of inconclusiveness following alleged electoral violence and malpractice that reportedly characterized the exercise.

Melaye after casting his vote, in Aiyetoro-Gbedde, had expressed dissatisfaction with the results declared by the INEC, describing the November 16 election as a fraud that will not stand.

According to him, “What we have as result is fraud, a major fraud.” Earlier the State’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Prof James Apam, has attributed the low turnout of voters in yesterday’s Kogi West senatorial district supplementary to poor mobilisation by the political parties.

He expressed disgust over obvious voters apathy observed in several polling units in wards in Kabba, Mopa Moro and Lokoja.

The REC said that the political parties should be blamed for voter apathy, who according to him, failed at convincing their supporters on the need to come out and vote.

Though the exercise was peaceful in Lokoja and other areas of Kogi West, including Odolu in Kabba, Aiyetoro-Gbedde and Demonstration Primary School, in the Asuta Ward voting unit of PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, Melaye was displeased with not only with low turnout but the conduct of the exercise.

While voters’ turnout was impressive in the capital, there was reported voter apathy in parts of Okun land.

In Mopa, there was near no sign of the exercise, as most people stayed away from the polling units in the two wards that were affected.

In Kabba, with about seven polling units, voting had ended at about two hours before the 2pm. Some of the voters attributed the low turnout to fears of a repeat of the violence that greeted the November 16 poll.

A PDP chieftain, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, attributed the low turnout to fears that their votes won’t count.

Meanwhile, the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Smart Adeyemi has been declared winner of the Kogi West senatorial district rerun election.

Adeyemi defeated the incumbent, Senator Dino Melaye, of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), haven polled 88,373 votes while Melaye polled 62,133 votes.

The Returning Officer, Prof. Olayide Lawal, of the Federal University, Oye, Ekiti, said the rerun became necessary in view of the fact that no clear winner emerged in the November 16 rerun.

He said that the margin of win was less than the cancelled votes, and the exercise therefore inconclusive according to electoral laws.

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