An audio recording reveals that the Kogi State Resident Electoral Commission, James Apam has expressed concern with being pressured to rig the Kogi West Senatorial election against Dino Melaye. The election held in February 2019.
In the recording, published by Natasha Akpoti, the Social Democratic Party’s candidate for the November 16, 2019 gubernatorial elections, Professor Apam is heard telling someone on the other end of what appears to be a phone call, that Senator Dino Melaye won the poll by 17,000 votes.
“The guy [Dino Melaye] won neatly,” the INEC official can be heard saying.
He also said that there was ‘suddenly pressure” on him to doctor the results so that Melaye would lose the election.
“I hate injustice and can’t keep this to myself,” Ms. Akpoti wrote as she shared the recording on Twitter.
You may listen to the sub-titled conversation below:
INEC EXPOSED. LEAKED AUDIO 🔥
I hate injustice & can’t keep this to myself.
Here’s #Kogi REC Prof. Apam speaking on the “Pressure “ mounted on him to rig Sen Dino Melaye’s Feb 23rd #election @dino_melaye@inecnigeria @OfficialPDPNig @APCNigeria @USEmbassyAbuja #November1st pic.twitter.com/4fzGeAYmAV
— Natasha Akpoti (@NatashaAkpoti) November 1, 2019
Melaye, eventually, won the election and was confirmed by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
His main challenger, Sam Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress, APC, challenged the outcome of the election and the Kogi State Election Petition Tribunal overturn Melaye’s victory and ordered a new election be conducted.
The Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the election petition tribunal and ordered that another election be held within 90 days.