The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared that only reports received from the monitoring carried out by its state offices will be used in recognizing candidates that emerged for party primaries.
This was disclosed on Saturday by the INEC Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye. According to him, aspirants that have issues about the names submitted by their parties should approach the court of law over the conduct and outcome of such primary elections. Specifically, Okoye pointed out that INEC has not recognized Senate President Ahmad Lawan and former Niger Delta Minister, Godswill Akpabio as the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates for Yobe north and Akwa Ibom north-west senatorial districts, respectively. He disclosed further that the Commission did not publish the personal particulars of any candidate for the two constituencies at variance with the State reports it received. The INEC Commissioner urged members of the public to disregard suggestions that it has recognized both Lawan and Akpabio as candidates pointing out that the electoral body excluded the names of candidates for both constituencies and stands by reports on the party primaries from its state officers. “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,” the statement reads. “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. 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 in the statement added that many applicants complaining about the inability or delay in getting certified true copies (CTCs) of documents are the ones who have failed to pick them up. He stated that INEC’s staff have been working hard, including weekends, to make the CTCs available and as of Friday, 433 requests had been processed and ready for collection.
This article was originally published on Naija News