Politics

2023: Real Reason We Didn’t Publish Akpabio, Lawan’s Names As Candidates – INEC

2023: Real Reason We Didn’t Publish Akpabio, Lawan’s Names As Candidates – INEC

INEC revealed the Real Reason they Didn’t Publish Akpabio, Lawan’s Names As Candidates

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday offered an explanation for its reluctance to publish the names of actual winners of the ruling APC senatorial candidates in two districts.

In a controversial manner, the names of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, a former minister of Niger Delta affairs, Godswill Akpabio, and two other expected candidates were missing from the published particulars of candidates late June.

Both Bashir Machina and Udom Ekpoudom had emerged in Yobe North and Akwa-Ibom Northwest senatorial primaries supervised by INEC but the names of Messrs Lawan and Akpabio were submitted by the APC to the commission.

Against the speculations of bias leveled against the INEC by a section of the public, the commission in a statement on Saturday, said its action has widely been misjudged.

In the case of both constituencies, the commission said it discharged its constitutionally permitted duties of monitoring political parties’ finances, conventions, congresses and primaries.

The INEC maintained its stance by acknowledging the reports of its state offices in respect to the APC senatorial elections in the concerned areas and challenged aggrieved members to approach the court.

Publish Akpabio
Lawan and Akpabio

“In relation to the primaries for the Akwa Ibom North West and Yobe North Senatorial Districts, the Commission stands by the monitoring reports received from our state offices.

“For this reason, the commission did not publish the personal particulars of any candidate for the two constituencies at variance with the state reports.

“Right now, the Commission is funtus officio in the two cases. Aggrieved parties are at liberty to approach the Federal High Court and seek redress as provided in section 285 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and sections 29(5) and 84(14) of the Electoral Act, 2022,” the INEC spokesperson, Festus Okoye, said in the statement.

Messrs Machina and Ekpoudom were duly recognised by the Yobe and Akwa-Ibom state offices of the commission at the time both Messrs Lawan and Akpabio were vigorously pursuing a chance to clinch the APC 2023 presidential ticket.

While Mr Akpabio withdrew for the eventual winner of the presidential primary, Bola Tinubu, Mr Lawan lost to the former Lagos State governor.

Given the controversies around the published documents of some of the presidential, National Assembly and governorship candidates, the INEC has been receiving requests from Nigerians for the Certified True Copies (CTCs) of the candidates’ submitted credentials.

Mr Okoye said as of Friday, the Commission had processed 433 requests involving the certification of about 1.6 million pages

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