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Melaye’s recall: Signatures verification marred by low turnout and allegations of forgery

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The signature verification exercise as part of processes for the recall of Sen. Dino Melaye representing Kogi West Senatorial District began on Saturday with low turnout and allegations of signature forgery.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who monitored the exercise, which started at 8.00 a.m. in the two local governments reports that less than 20 per cent of petitioners had come out as at mid-day.

At Ukwo-Okoriko Compound in Koton-Karfe, Ward A, unit 003 with 440 petitioners, only 18 had their signatures verified at about 11.00 a.m.

The electoral officer, Musa Iliasu, said only 18 had been verified but added that it was only INEC that would say which signature was genuine or otherwise.

At the Ohogabi polling unit near the public tap, 500 petitioners out of the 991 registered voters, only 43 petitioners had their signatures verified by 11:37 a.m.

Similarly, in Banda, Lokoja Local Government, Oworo Ward 8, Unit 012 with 512 petitioners out of 1005 registered voters, only 40 were verified at about 12:09 p.m.

At Oworo Ward 8, unit 004 with over 3,340 registered voters and 815 petitioners, none of the petitioners had shown up for the exercise at the time of filing this report.

At Lokoja Club polling unit, Ward A, unit 016, with 875 petitioners only two had registered their presence at the unit and both complained that their signatures were forged as they were never part of the petitioners.

One of the petitioners at Lokoja Club polling unit Ward A, unit 016, Samuel Olukotun, threatened to sue the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for allegedly listing him and his wife as petitioners in the recall bid.

Doris Ndakwo, a member representing Lokoja II at the State House of Assembly, said the process was new and people did not quite understand.

She added that some people came out but could not find their names.

Ndakwo, however, commended the peaceful disposition of the people.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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