Double registration: Bello to sue INEC
The controversies generated by the alleged double voters registration by the Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, continued on Sunday as the governor may have decided to sue the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the allegation.
Sources close to the Government House, Lokoja exclusively informed Nigerian Tribune that the governor may have concluded on the legal option to seek redress.
The highly embarrassed Bello was said to have have been irked by the conclusion of INEC that he actually registered as a voter twice, which is a criminal offence against the constitution of the country.
The governor was said to have assembled a crack team of legal practitioners, led by a prominent Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) to study the governor legal option with a view to clearing his name.
The legal team which met throughout the weekend in Lokoja and Abuja, according to sources, might have encouraged Bello to file a suit challenging the action of the electoral body.
One of the arguments said to have been brought forward by Bello’s camp was the fact that the date that INEC accused him of engaging in the second registration was a date he was in Dubai, United Arab Emirate.
The legal team was said to be ready to face INEC in court and puncture the allegation, claiming that INEC had no record to justify the basis of its allegations.
According to sources, the governor’s camp believed that the resurrection of the allegation was the handiwork of some political forces that wanted to use the commission to frustrate him as the country move closer to 2019.
When contacted, the governor, who spoke through his director general, media and publicity, Kingsley Fanwo, confirmed that he would soon prove his innocence.
Fanwo said the governor is “upbeat in the midst of allegation of double registration against him”, insisting that the Governor is prepared to prove his innocence.
His words: “We have not said anything about the allegation because we have to allow our legal team take it up and expose the incoherence and falsehood surrounding the politically orchestrated allegation.
“The Governor will soon come out to lay the truth on the table. Impregnable facts will dwarf the current campaign of calumny against the person of Governor Yahaya Bello.
“INEC had told the world they had no evidence of double registration. They also gave dates during which the purported double registration took place. They may have to be confronted with their own words.
“Those calling for the Governor’s resignation over a mere allegation have further exposed their ignorance and desperation. They need to wait till 2019 to test their popularity among the people of Kogi State. Why are they sounding critical publicly while sending emissaries to plead with the Governor for the remedy of their dimming political hope ahead of 2019? Their hypocrisy will soon be a public knowledge.
“The Governor will clear his name. But he remains focused on his goal of making Kogi a better place for all”.
It will be recalled that INEC had last week revealed that two of its officials were sacked, while an electoral officer was compulsorily retired over their involvement in the alleged double registration of Bello.
The commission added that Bello would be tried after serving out his term as the governor of Kogi state.