Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello’s name has disappeared from the voters register after being accused of double registration.
Bello’s name has been delisted, but the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has a photograph showing how he was registered at the Government House, Lokoja.
The commission has raised an investigative committee to unravel the “mystery surrounding the alleged double registration by the governor”.
Heads may roll in the Kogi State office of INEC for the alleged “untoward activities of some of our staff”.
INEC alleged that the governor first registered in Abuja in January 2011 and reregistered on May 23, 2017 at the Government House, Lokoja.
But the governor on Friday said his ghost might have been registered by INEC because he was away in Dubai when he was said to have registered again.
As INEC tried to ascertain the true position of the governor’s registration status, a fresh problem has cropped up.
It was learnt that INEC established that some of its staff were deployed in the Government House for Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) of the governor. The state has denied that it took place.
It was gathered that although the commission had the photograph of the governor’s registration, it could not trace any Yahaya Bello on its CVR list for May 23, 2017.
There was suspicion last night that the list of voters registered on May 23 might have been tampered with by some INEC employees.
A source, who spoke in confidence said: “The INEC management has raised an investigative team to look at the controversy over the allegation of double registration by the governor.
“It is however curious that the investigation has assumed a new dimension. The commission has the photograph of the registration of the governor but his name is not on the list of the CVR for that day in question. The name has disappeared.”
INEC is probing the following issues:
- Was there any CVR on May 23 at the Government House, Lokoja?
- Who was registered?
- How did the INEC team come about the photograph of the registration showing the governor?
- How was the name of the registrant (Yahaya Bello) de-listed from the INEC register? and
- Who were those behind the de-listing?
“Certainly, it is now our words against the governor. This is a mystery we need to unravel. The governor said our team might have registered his ghost. The onus is on us to present the evidence, including our register,” the source said, adding:
“But we got information before we issued an official statement on the governor’s double registration.
“INEC is suspecting foul play by some of its staff. We hope they are not dragging the commission into the dirty politics of Kogi State again.
“If we are able to establish any shady deals, those concerned will be sanctioned. They may be dismissed from service.”
INEC, speaking through its National Commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Prince Solomon Soyebi, first raised the alarm over the governor’s alleged double registration.
He said: “It has come to the attention of INEC that Governor Bello of Kogi State registered as a voter for the second time on Tuesday May 23, 2017 in Government House, Lokoja, the state capital.
”His first registration was on January 30, 2011 in Wuse Zone 4, Abuja.
”The governor’s double registration and doing so outside lNEC’s designated centres are both illegal.
”We wish to make it clear that no INEC staff was authorised by the commission to re-register him or any citizen or to do so outside our designated CVR centres.”
Speaking after praying at the Presidential Villa mosque on Friday , Bello said: “I travelled on 19th to Dubai for a brief break and I saw the press release and I was taken aback, that I did double registration on 23rd.
“Probably it is my ghost that has done the double registration.”