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N100 Million Spent by INEC in Failed Recall of Dino Melaye

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, has revealed that the commission spent ‘only’ N100 million on the failed recall process of  Kogi State senator, Dino Melaye.

Mr Yakubu was reacting to ”claims” that over N5 billion was spent in the process.

The INEC chairman was responding to a question by a journalist at a press conference held at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja on Friday.

He said the amount spent on the recall of the Kogi West senator was ”nowhere near the N5 billion claim by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

“A little over N100 million. I can’t give you the exact figures now but a little over N100 million was spent, not up to the N5 billion and most of it was used for payment of ad-hoc staff,” Mr Yakubu said in response to the question.

However, a review of the statement sent out by the PDP however did not note where the opposition party gave the figure mentioned by INEC.

The PDP in the statement had said that the poor turn out that characterized the process signified a total rejection of the Governor Yahaya Bello-led administration in Kogi.

“The general apathy that greeted the exercise, in spite of government efforts to mobilise people to participate, is a clear indication that the APC has lost relevance in Kogi,” the PDP said in the statement signed by Dickson Achadu, Director, Research and Documentation.

The statement was issued on Saturday in Lokoja, shortly after INEC conducted its verification exercise for the recall process.

The exercise had witnessed a very low turn out with some polling units in Lokoja, Kabba, Ijumu and other local governments recording zero votes.

The PDP, while accusing Mr Bello of trying to force the idea on the people, said the rejection of the recall process had confirmed that he had lost value in Kogi.

It thanked leaders and people of Kogi West senatorial district for heeding its call to shun the exercise.

“The failure of the recall exercise is an indication that the present administration is not popular which, of course, is only natural because it has inflicted poverty, hardship and suffering on the people,” the statement said.

The PDP also accused the state government of being insensitive to the plight of the people, and condemned the Bello-led administration several months salaries and pensions.

“It is unfortunate that in spite of the massive resources available to the present administration, no visible development has been witnessed in the last three years.

Out of the 189,870 that signed up for the recall, only 18,742 were verified after verification exercise.

The Kogi State High Court ruled on Friday that the embattled lawmaker, who is facing criminal charges be moved to Abuja where he would be able to receive appropriate care for his health complications.

The senator, who has been having running battles with his state governor and the police was earlier charged and arraigned for attempted suicide and destruction of public property. He was granted bail in the sum of N90 million before being moved down to Lokoja to face the second stage of his ordeal

While deciding on an urgent fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by Mr Melaye’s lawyers on Friday, Nasir Ajanah, the state chief judge, ordered the transfer of the senator to the National Hospital, Abuja, pending the determination of his bail conditions next week Monday.

The order follows a decision of a Chief Magistrate’s Court which remanded Mr Melaye in police custody after a preliminary arraignment on Thursday. The senator was driven to court in Lokoja in an ambulance on Thursday morning.

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