The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has explained why it rejected the names of candidates for Yobe North and Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial Districts submitted to it by the All Progressive Congress APC.
The candidates rejected by INEC were , Senator Ahmed Lawan and Godswill Akpabio,.
According to INEC, the two candidate were rejected because the electoral umpire it didn’t monitor the primary elections which they were produced.
INEC said that it has to reject their names because Constitution gives it the power to monitor primaries of all political parties.
Speaking on the matter, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye said: “The attention of the Commission has been drawn to speculations circulating online on the outcome of some of the recent primaries conducted by political parties and related issues. In particular, allegations intended to impugn the integrity of the Commission have been made in respect of the Akwa Ibom North West and Yobe North Senatorial Districts.
“To set the record straight, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria mandates the Commission to monitor the organization and operation of political parties, including their finances, conventions, congresses and party primaries.
“In line with its constitutional and legal obligations, the Commission deployed monitors to the various constituencies and received reports of such exercise.
“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.”
Speaking further, the electoral umpire urged the aggrieved politicians to seek redress in Court.
“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 statement noted.