INEC restates stance on A’Ibom N’West, Yobe North Senatorial Districts

Tunde Joshua, Abuja

  • Lawan, Akpabio remain disqualified
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said there is no variance in the position of the Commission relating to the nomination of candidates by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom North West and Yobe North senatorial districts.

National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Barrister Festus Okoye made the clarification on issues relating to candidate nomination in a statement at weekend.

The Commission thereby warned the public to disregard 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.

Setting the record straight, Okoye said 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.

He added that 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. 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,” Okoye clarified.

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With this clarification, candidature of both Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Sen Godswill Akpabio remain in limbo.

Speaking on the issuance of Certified True Copies (CTCs) of documents, he said staff of the Commission have been working hard, including weekends, to meet the deluge of requests received.

According to him, as at Friday 8th July 2022, the Commission has processed 433 requests involving the certification of One million, Six Hundred and Sixty-Two Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy-Six (1,662,776) pages of documents, adding that many of them are awaiting collection at the INEC Headquarters by some of the same applicants complaining of delay in issuance of the CTCs.

“Section 29 (4) of the Electoral Act provides that any person may apply to the Commission for a copy of nomination form, affidavit, and any other document submitted by a candidate at an election and the Commission shall, upon payment of a prescribed fee, issue such person with a certified copy of document within 14 days. Persons applying for CTC of documents should endeavor to act timely and within the ambit of the law,” he said.

The Commission, he added, will continue to uphold the integrity of the electoral process, including the deepening of the deployment of technology to enhance the credibility of elections.

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