Kogi REC seeks thumb-printing in recall of lawmakers
•Says N’Assembly yet to inform INEC on rep’s death
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Kogi State, Professor James Apam, says thumb-printing verification should be made one of the criteria for commencement of the recall of a sitting legislator.
Speaking yesterday on the ongoing voters’ registration exercise and issuance of new permanent voters’ cards (PVCs) at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Lokoja, he hinged his call on the botched recall of Senator Dino Melaye (APC Kogi West).
Apam spoke against the backdrop of the discovery of multiple signatures by a few individuals.
As it eventually turned out to be, the recall exercise failed, as only 5.34 per cent of the signatures were verifiable as against the 51 per cent needed to proceed to the next stage, referendum.
He said with thumb-printing verification, it would have been difficult for the proponents to collate the required signatures for INEC to proceed and staved off the wastage of resources.
Apam noted that the electorate were fast becoming conversant with the futility of double and multiple registrations, adding that the electoral umpire’s system could not be manipulated for selfish ends.
He stated that 112, 333 new PVCs were printed in the state as at the end of last month.
“This number is made of those who were registered freshly and those who applied for inter-state transfer of their voting points. The printed cards are for those who registered from April to December 2017, as we are yet to print those of 2018 registrants,” he clarified.
Apam regretted that as at June 12, 2018, only 7,943 cards of the 112,333 printed for the state had been collected.
He promised to devise means by which the electoral umpire could make the PVCs closer to the polling units due to complaints of distance and related challenges.
However, the REC said INEC was yet to be communicated by the National Assembly on the passage of a member of the House of Representatives, Buba Jubril.
The representative of Lokoja Federal Constituency passed on March 29 this year after a protracted battle with diabetes.
Apam said the remarks became imperative in the wake of insinuations that the electoral body was deliberately delaying the conduct of a by-election to fill the vacancy three months after the departure of the last occupant.
His words: “As law-abiding citizens of the country, we have to wait until we are officially informed that there is a vacancy in the House before we can commence the process of conducting a by-election to fill the position.”
The explanation comes on the heels of another by-election held in Oyo State to fill the position of the late speaker of the House of Assembly who died a month after Buba’s exit.
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