Dino Melaye 'Senator moves to bribe INEC over recall'

Melaye has been frantically working behind the scenes to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) dead in its tracks.

  • Published:
Senator Dino Melaye play

Senator Dino Melaye

(Punch)
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Pulse can report that the Senator representing Kogi West senatorial district in the upper legislative chamber, Dino Melaye, has been running from pillar to post in the last couple of weeks to prevent recall moves initiated by his constituents, from sailing through.

On June 2, 2017, Pulse was the first media organisation in the land to be availed of plans to recall Melaye.

Some of the grievances levelled against the senator by his constituents from Yagba West, Yagba East, Mopamuro, Ijumu, Kabba/Bunu, Koton-Karfe and Lokoja were that Melaye doesn't have a constituency office back home, he insults other political leaders, he is engulfed in a school certificate scandal, he is "notoriously corrupt" and that the senator "routinely gives youths in the constituency who approach him for help, N1,000 or less, telling them to use it to buy condoms".

Melaye was also accused of rascality, thuggery and violence by his constituents.

Melaye, who initially laughed off the recall moves as the handiwork of Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello, has been frantically working behind the scenes to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) dead in its tracks.

Gov Bello and Sen Dino Melaye play

Gov Bello and Sen Dino Melaye

(Daily Post)

 

Pulse can also confirm that the Kogi State government is indeed fuelling the recall moves.

On June 19, 2017, 188, 580 electorates from the senator's constituency said they wanted him back home.

On June 21, 2017, INEC confirmed that it had received the signatures from Kogi West and notified the senator accordingly.

The next step, according to the electoral commission, would be to verify the signatures from the electorates, on July 3, 2017.

Melaye says that dead persons were part of the signatories forwarded to the electoral commission. He has also called out the Kogi State Governor for bankrolling the recall.

Melaye outburst over police withdrawal shows how spoilt he is play

Dino Melaye

(The Transverse)

 

"Quote me, Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has released N200M for each of the seven local government areas in my senatorial district to facilitate my recall from the Senate," Melaye said.

"Nobody should take the recall seriously. The whole thing is shrouded in money politics and cannot stand.

"We have discovered names of dead people on the list and a handwriting with similar signatures for several people on petition, the discrepancies are too much and it’s a total fraud. And I promise that many people will go to jail for forgery," the senator said.

While displaying an unflappable mien in public, sources in and around Kogi and Abuja have disclosed to Pulse that the senator isn’t finding the recall moves funny.

Melaye, Pulse was told, spends sleepless nights these days as he seeks to thwart the recall process by deploying every trick in the book.

A highly placed source at INEC told Pulse on condition of anonymity, Thursday night, that "Dino has been meeting with some of our staff and promising them land in the FCT in exchange for information on his recall".

ALSO READ: Senator says dead people signed petition against him

The senator has also hired controversial lawyer Mike Ozekhome, to haul some legal spanner in the recall works.

On Thursday, June 29, 2017, Ozekhome penned a letter to INEC demanding that the recall process be halted. The letter was addressed to the chairman of the commission.

A copy of Dino Melaye's lawyer's letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) 1/2 play

A copy of Dino Melaye's lawyer's letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) 1/2

(Twitter)

 

A copy of Dino Melaye's lawyer's letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) 2/2 play

A copy of Dino Melaye's lawyer's letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) 2/2

(Twitter)

 

The letter from Ozekhome read in parts: "We humbly bring to your notice, for the avoidance of doubt, that during litigation, or pendency of an action, nothing new should be introduced in a matter that has the potential of foisting fait accompli on a court with respect to the subject matter before it.

"It is further submitted respectfully, on the premise of this hallowed and ageless principle, that any act perpetrated or transaction, carried out during the pendency of any proceeding regarding the subject matter…

"Our client is already challenging the validity of the petition upon which INEC now seeks to act. It will be necessary and indeed expedient that INEC exercises restraint by halting every further action in respect of the recall process pending the determination of the originating processes already filed before the court".

Pulse can also report that Melaye has been holding series of meetings with purported leaders of some of the local governments in Kogi West, in a bid to cajoling them to dispense with the recall process in its entirety.

It remains to be seen how well these rapprochement moves impinge on the recall process in the days ahead.

Attempts to get the senator to respond to the allegations concerning bribing INEC officials, have proven unsuccessful.

Text messages and calls placed to his mobile were also not replied before press time.

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