Senator Dino Melaye, representating Kogi west senatorial district in the national assembly, claims that signatures of dead constituents are on the list of the signatures collected to influence his recall.
Addressing reporters in Lokoja, the state capital, on Sunday, Melaye said the signature of a dead biology teacher was found on the list.
Melaye, who spoke through Abubakar Sadiq, one of his aides, described the recall process as a failed exercise.
“Let me also sound authoritatively that here in Lokoja local government council, several others whose names and signatures appeared on the list of the signatories to this failed exercise were identified and known to us as being dead long before now,” he said.
“Such people like late Abdullahi Abubakar, his immediate younger sister, late Halima Lawal Abubakar and Ibrahim Adama of unit code 021, Adankolo Ring Road in ward ‘A’, Lokoja local government council.
“The name of a former governorship aspirant of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state, late Chief Rotimi Obadofin precisely from Iya-Gbede axis, was on the list.
“Also one late Salihu Black of Gegu-Beki town, Kogi local government council who until his death was a biology teacher in Government Secondary School, Koton-Karfe, also appended his signature on the recall list.
“This recall exercise was hatched in Kogi government house due to the manner in which Senator Dino Melaye consistently challenges and engages the government over non-payment of workers’ salaries and pensioners for over 15 months; and also the constant closure of tertiary institutions.”
Melaye also faulted the over 188,000 signatories of electorate submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He wondered how his opponents arrived at that figure when the total vote cast in the last senatorial election of 2015, both valid and rejected, was “merely 111, 000 for all the candidates that participated”.
But Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi, has advised Melaye to stop worrying about INEC.
Bello, who spoke through Petra Onyegbule, his chief press secretary, said facts about the constituents were with INEC which had the responsibility of verifying the signatures.
“There is nothing for the distinguished senator to be worried about. INEC has set July 3, for the public verification of signatures and the date is around the corner; there is no point burning their energies all over the place,” Onyegbule said
She said the allegation that signatures were collated in government house was “absolutely false, as no single signature was collated there”.