People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate for the Kogi West Senatorial District by-election, Dino Melaye, has presented 21 video clips to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to serve as evidence of electoral violence and malpractices during last Saturday’s election.
Melaye, in a petition put together by his solicitors and signed by Tobechukwu Nweke, claimed that the Kogi West Senatorial election was less than satisfactory as it was mostly characterized by all forms of violence and malpractices, including shooting, ballot-box stuffing and snatching as well as mass thumb printing of ballot papers.
The petition and videotapes, which were received by the Secretary to the Commission, Mrs. Rose Oriaran-Anthony and National Commissioner and Chairman of INEC’s Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, contained alleged incidents of violence from the seven council areas under the senatorial district.
According to the petition, the incidents and instances recorded in words and in the videos lend credence to the claim by Melaye that what happened in the district was not an election, as prescribed by the Electoral Act (as amended).
The petition states: “We have enclosed herewith 21 copies of video discs, which captured widespread violence, gunshots and killings, disruption of the election, snatching of ballots, multiple thumb printing, several electoral malpractices and irregularities and a total sabotage of the electoral process all of which marred the election to the Senate of KOGI WEST SENATORIAL DISTRICT.
“Our client implores the Commission to study painstakingly, the events captured in the said video discs, which reveal that election was not conducted in Kogi West Senatorial District and to cancel the entire election to the Senate of Kogi West Senatorial District held on 16th November 2019.
“Besides the video footage, which speaks for themselves, we have our client’s instruction to point out a few instances where the election was marred.
“In conclusion, sequel to the abovementioned spread violence, gunshots and killings, disruption of the election, snatching of ballots, multiple thumb printing, several electoral malpractices, irregularities and total sabotage of the electoral process cut across all the seven Local Government Areas in Kogi State, which were demonstrated in the video footages attached herein, and the facts in paragraphs 1-5 above, which reveals that the election was not conducted in Kogi State Senatorial District, in substantial compliance with the dictates of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) as well as the requisite Guidelines and Regulations issued for the election. We urge the commission to cancel the entire election to the Senate of Kogi West Senatorial District held on 16th November 2019.”
Replying on behalf of the Commission, Okoye said the petition would be studied and appropriate actions are taken.