Dino Melaye, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi West senatorial rerun, has claimed that he won the November 16 election, but was rigged by the All Progressives Congress (APC) overnight.
At a press briefing in Abuja on Sunday, Melaye said he won the poll “in the afternoon and by midnight, the APC manipulated the results.”
He said the manipulations were made possible through the machinery of the APC in the state, with the support of Governor Yahaya Bello, by unleashing “unprecedented violence” on voters and electoral officials.
Melaye claimed that over 70,000 valid votes were cancelled, adding that it is left to be seen how the the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), will announce a winner in the circumstance, where the cancelled votes are more than the difference between the purported winner of the election and the runner-up.
There had been reports that Smart Adeyemi, candidate of the APC in the election, was ahead of Melaye in the five Local Governments counted already.
“They did this by attacking my strongholds and then rig their strongholds. That is exactly what happened.
“They also went to Abuji where I am very strong politically, election did not take place there. There were sporadic firing of gunshots.
“They went to Lokoja and carted away ballot boxes in over 10 polling units. They went to another place and carted ballot boxes from over 12 units.
“But I am surprised that, INEC despite this violence, three people were shot and two died, four people were killed in Lokoja, seven were killed in the eastern part of the state.
“This is the record we have so far, apart from those who sustained gunshot wounds and those who were macheted and all that.
“The Electoral Act is clear, the Election Manual is very clear, that when the number of cancelled votes outweights the number of votes between the winner and the loser, definitely, the election must be declared inconclusive.
“We are waiting to see what INEC will do. But I reject in totality these fictitious results. I Dino Melaye won that election in the afternoon and then APC won it at night.
“I won that election clearly and we have Polling Units results. We have collected all the Polling Units results and I won with a very very wide margin,” Melaye said.
The candidate also said he was surprised that despite the level of violence and the reported abduction of INEC staff, the electoral empire keeps collating fictitious results, which he said will not be accepted as it did not reflect the realities of the situation.
He further alleged that the results of one of the wards, which the PDP won with over 1000 votes, was rejected by the Returning Officer because of the marging of defeat.
Melaye also alleged that results of Iyara, hometown of his opponent, Adeyemi, was written, while violence was unleashed on his own home town of Aiyetoro Gbede, which claimed the life of his nephew, Olajuwonlo.
“Meanwhile, in the ward of the Speaker Kogi State House of Assembly, Prince Kolawale, where he led thugs to cart away Ballot Boxes.
“These Ballot Boxes were stuffed and brought back to the Collation Center and they were collated and admitted,” he added.
Melaye, who earlier won the February 23 National Assembly elections by defeating Smart Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had his victory anulled by the Election Petitions Tribunal, and subsequently the Appeal Court, which ordered a fresh election.