The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday said the recall process of Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West would commence on April 28.
Prof. James Apam, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Kogi, disclosed this in Lokoja at a stakeholders meeting which had representatives of various political parties and other stakeholders in attendance.
He said that the commission’s position was based on the recent Court of Appeal ruling.
Apam described INEC as a law-abiding organisation and would adhere strictly to the pronouncement of the Court of Appeal which ordered the commission to restart the recall process.
He said that the process would start with verification of signatures of the electorate on the recall register, adding that at least 51 per cent of the signatures must be fully verified.
A referendum of the electorate would be conducted on May 5, adding that this would depend on the success of the verification exercise being able to verify at least 51 per cent of the signatures.
“We will invite all those that signed the recall register to come forward to identify their signatures.
“ If this process is successful, the commission will proceed to the next stage where a referendum of all registered voters would be conducted.
“Here, voters will be asked to vote either yes or no to the question of whether they want Sen. Dino Melaye recalled.
“If they are able to meet the constitutional requirement of 51 per cent yes, the process moves to the next stage, but if it fails, the process stops,’’ Apam said.
It would be recalled that the Court of Appeal last week struck out Melaye’s suit challenging the move to recall him and ordered INEC to commence the process.
The senator, however, vowed to proceed to the Supreme Court in a bid to stop INEC from proceeding with the process.
Apam said that INEC, as a law-abiding body, would stop the process should the Supreme Court eventually rule against it.
On the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR), Apam said the exercise would continue until 60 days to February 16, 2019, date for the commencement of the general elections.
He said that between April 2017 and Tuesday, the commission had registered 196,912 fresh voters and effected 8,046 of voting points following approval of transfer applications received.
The commission, the REC added, also received 10,492 applications for replacement of damaged or lost Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and distributed 57,881 cards to those who registered before 2016.
Apam also said that about 210,000 PVCs were ready for collection, but expressed worry that the owners had refused to come forward to collect them.