By Olisemeka Obeche
Melayewho made the call while addressing newsmen at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja, where he had gone to submit another petition on the election, stressed that INEC should postpone the crucial rerun until it was able to address what he described as ‘noticeable infractions’ in the November 16 election and concerns over areas where the supplementary election would be held.
Recall that Senator Melaye had, on November 20, submitted a petition, calling for total cancellation of the election, to which he attached 21 video CDs and other documentary evidence to prove that there was no election in the senatorial district.He said he was at INEC office because he had yet to get a reply to his earlier petition, adding that there was also no public announcement that a panel was set up to investigate the issues raised in the petition.
Melaye said he was also there to submit additional facts to those in his earlier petition, which, according to him, were unknown to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.“What is new in what we have submitted today is that we have attached a copy of form EC8B of Ward A in Lokoja Local Government area, where INEC, during collation, had cancelled results of nine out of 23 polling units in the LGA.”
He added that results were cancelled in other polling units during collation, including Abugi, Ole and other places, but these were not captured among the areas where INEC said that supplementary poll would take place on Nov. 30.“What we are saying is: how can INEC cancel these polling units during collation process and they will not be captured in places where rerun will take place?We believe this is an aberration, and the INEC chairman cannot know about it and allow it to stay.”
Melaye said there were also lots of places where elections were supposed to have been cancelled by INEC, but which were not.
These, he said, included Lokogoma and Adanko in Lokoja, where, he said, three people were killed during the Nov. 16 election.“Unfortunately, results were returned in those places. We are saying that INEC must be neutral and cancel elections in areas where there were violence.”
Another infraction cited by Melaye was that in Koko Quarters, Aiyetoro-Gbede, Ward 1 in Ijumu LGA, the election was peaceful, result collated, declared and won by the PDP, but was now part of the areas where the supplementary would take place on Saturday.
Another error, Melaye said, was that the unit was listed under Egbeda-Ega ward, adding that he could not understand why this was so.“I want to say that with all these fractions put together, INEC must, as a matter of transparency and national interest, postpone the Saturday supplementary election.”
Melaye said he was not calling for any support or cooperation, but just wanted INEC to do the needful by cancelling elections in areas where there were cases of violence and ballot box snatching and conduct fresh elections where results were cancelled.