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28 Feb 2018

Double registration: Senate probes allegation against Bello

The Senate on Wednesday resolved to investigate allegation of double registration leveled against Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.
The resolution to probe the allegation followed observation by Senator Mohammed Hassan (Yobe South) on the need to establish the truth or otherwise of the allegation.

Hassan told his colleagues that when it was reported that Bello did double registration, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) confirmed it at a press conference the electoral umpire held on the matter.

He said that it was also reported that the Kogi State Governor could not be prosecuted because of his immunity.

Hassan noted that it was further reported that Bello had been issued another voter’s card by the same INEC that confirmed double registration allegation against Bello.

He prayed the Senate to look into the matter with a view to establishing the true situation regarding Bello’s registration to vote or be voted for in any election in the country.

He noted that it was necessary that the issue of double registration against Bello be cleared so that Nigerians would be more educated on the circumstances surrounding the allegation.

Hassan said, “There is this situation going round regarding the Governor of Kogi State. It was reported recently in the newspapers that the Governor of Kogi State was involved in double registration in the voter registration exercise.

“Again, some days or weeks after, INEC held a press conference in which they confirmed it and sacked three members of staff of INEC.

“Now, we are concerned again. It was reported again by the newspapers that he had been issued another voter card from another ward. We are concerned about this and I think it is very important that the Senate Committee on INEC investigates and get to the root of this matter. It is very important.

“It was reported everywhere that he cannot be prosecuted because he has immunity but for the purpose of getting this picture very right, I think the Senate Committee on INEC should investigate this and get this matter right.

Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, described the allegation as important and directed the Senate Committee on INEC to look into the matter.

Saraki said, “The issue that you’re talking about is one that is important because the stability of our democracy depends on the credibility of our electoral processes.

“And as such, we must ensure that the processes are always what we can be proud of, especially now that countries all over are looking up to our electoral processes.

“I am happy that the Chairman of INEC is seated here. It is something that he could look into and come back to tell us where the issue is.”

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