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Court Orders Melaye Moved To Hospital; As INEC Says Only N100m Spent On Recall

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The Kogi State High Court, Lokoja, has on Friday ordered that Senator Dino Melaye be returned to the National Hospital, Abuja, for continued treatment.

The presiding judge, Justice Nasir Ajanah gave the order following an application by the senator’s legal counsel, Mike Ezekhome (SAN).

Ezekhome has approached the court seeking for bail for the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District in the National Assembly.

Recall that he was, on Thursday, arraigned before a Senior Magistrates Court in Kogi state lying on a stretcher.

Melaye is being prosecuted over alleged criminal conspiracy and arms peddling in the state.

He is also being tried for causing damage to government property, attempted suicide and escape from lawful custody.

Senator Dino Melaye arraigned in wheelchair in a Magistrate Court

At the trial on Thursday, the court ruled that he be remanded in custody for 39 days after denying his bail application.

The case was adjourned until June 11, 2018.

In another development, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has said that “only” N100 million was spent on the failed attempt to recall Senator Melaye from the National Assembly.

Prof. Yakubu said this while responding to a question posed by this reporter at a press conference in Abuja on Friday.

The conference centered on findings of the Committee constituted to investigate the alleged Kano underage voting at INEC conference hall, INEC Headquarters.

The Commission said it had carefully considered the report and accepted its findings and recommendations of the committee based on 4 key points.

While speaking, Yakubu said the figure spent was nowhere near the N5 billion being bandied by the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP].

He said a recall exercise is just like conducting a Senatorial election, adding that Kogi-West which Melaye represents, has 552 polling units and seven local governments.

The INEC boss said ad hoc staff were deployed in all the polling units.

See attached details of the press conference:

Press Conference on findings of the Committee constituted to investigate the alleged Kano Underage Voting at INEC conference hall, INEC Headquarters

The Commission has carefully considered the report and accepted its findings and recommendations of the committee based on these 4 key points:

– Kano state INEC requested for and received from INEC the Kano state register of voters for the election. The Register was produced for use for the Use for the elections.

However, the register was only sighted in a few polling units. In fact accreditation using the PVC largely did not take place.

– Given that the register was substantial not used to credit voters before voting, it is logical to conclude that if underaged voting occurred in the election, it was NOT due to any presence of underage registrants on the register of voters. However, after examining some of the images in circulation, the committee found that they have been available long before the Kano LGA elections. The few images and video clips from Kano show no accreditation of voters or any relationship with the register of voters.

– there is need and ample room for collaboration between INEC and all stakeholders to continue to update and improve the National register of voters to eliminate all ineligible registrants from it, including dead persons, aliens and underaged registrants.

– INEC should work with the state independent Electoral Commission (SIECs) to ensure continuous improvements in the quality of all elections conducted in Nigeria.

ADDITIONAL STATEMENT

After the ongoing CVR, which as the law provides will end not later than 60days to the forthcoming general elections on 16th February 2019.

Please note that the law says not later than 60days, which means that the CVR must end on or before the 60th day to the election- we intend to display not only the provisional register, but the entire register at all the Registration Area/wards across the Country.

This again will provide a good opportunity for all citizens to interrogate the register and identify ineligible registrants, including underaged persons for removal.

Under the present INEC, only 432,233 new registrants have been added to our national voter register. This represents 0.9% increase in the register used for 2015 general elections.

These additions came essentially from CVR in 2015 and 2016 in states where we conducted off-Season Governorship elections namely Bayelsa, kogi,Edo and Ondo as well as the FCT Area Council elections.

From April 2017 when we commenced the CVR to December of the same year, some 3,981,502 new registrants were recorded, including figures from Anambra State Governorship election held in November 2017.

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