The senator representing Kogi West senatorial district of Kogi State, Senator Dino Melaye, on Sunday said the signatures attached to the petition sent to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for his recall were forged.
He said analysis of the signatures showed that some confirmed dead persons signed the petition.
Speaking at the press centre of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), in Lokoja, the state capital, Melaye said the forgery cut across the seven local government areas of the senatorial district.
Melaye, who spoke through one of his legislative aides, Mallam Abubakar Sadiq, said investigation revealed that the dead signed the recall petition across the seven local government councils of the senatorial district.
According to him, the name of the former governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the state, late Chief Yakubu Rotimi Obadofin from Ijumu local government area was included in the list.
“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 been dead long before now, such people like late Abdullahi Abubakar, his immediate younger sister, late Halima LawaI Abubakar and Ibrahim Adama of Unit Code 021 Adankolo Ring Road in Ward ‘A’ Lokoja local government council.
“Also, one late Salihu Black of Gegu-Beki town in Kogi local government council who until his death he was a Biology teacher in Government Secondary School, Koton-Karfi also appended his signature on the recall list.
“This recall exercise was hatched in government house due to the manner in which Senator Dino Melaye had consistently challenged and engaged the government of Kogi State over non-payment of workers’ salaries and pensioners for over 15 months so also the closure of tertiary institutions,” he said.
The Senator also faulted the 188,588 signatures gathered for his recall, saying the total vote cast in the last senatorial election of 2015 was 111,000 for all the candidates that participated at the election including both valid and rejected votes.
“For God sake, how could they have gotten such figures, where people were not seen in most of the polling units visited during the said exercise.
“Should INEC proceed on verification process, they cannot get up to 5 per cent of the total figure forged because those names and signatories were collated by proxy in various homes and the government house,” he alleged.
However, following the allegation that the recall was hatched in the government house, the governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, said Melaye should wait for INEC on the exercise and should stop worrying himself.
Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Mrs Petra Akinti, the governor said, “The fact about the people that registered is with INEC. INEC has the responsibility of verifying the signatures so it has nothing to do with the Kogi State Government.
“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.
“We should all allow INEC to do the needful so there is nothing to get my reaction for it should be the INEC people.”
On the alleged collation signatures in Government House, she said it was absolutely false because there was no day signatures were collated in Government House.