INEC dashes hope of Lawan, Akpabio, Umahi, excludes their names from senatorial candidates’ list
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has dashed the hope of Senate President Ahmad Lawan, former Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Godswill Akpabio, and Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, to contest in the 2023 senatorial election as it excluded their names from the list of candidates for the poll.
The Commission on Friday, released the list and particulars of candidates running for various elective offices ahead of September 2022 when the final list of all validly nominated candidates for the 2023 general election would be published.
INEC said Lawan, Akpabio and Umahi’s names were excluded because they did not emerge from valid party primaries.
The INEC Commissioner for Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, confirmed this when he appeared on Channels TV’s Politics Today on Friday.
Okoye explained that if a political party submits the name of a candidate that did not emerge from valid party primaries, “the commission is not obligated to publish the name of such a candidate”.
He said, “What the Commission has published, as of today, complies with Section 29(3) of the electoral act which says that the moment political parties comply with the provision of Section 29 (1) of the electoral act in terms of the submission of its validly nominated candidates, that the Commission shall publish the personal particulars of such candidates in the constituencies where the candidates intend to contest election.
“In other words, for instance for a senatorial candidate, if a senatorial district covers four local governments, we will publish the personal particulars of such a candidate in the four local governments.
“So that is exactly what we have done. And we published the personal particulars of candidates that emerged from valid party primaries. And that’s what the law says we should do.
“So, if the name of any candidate was not published, or if the personal particulars of any candidate was not published today, the implication is that such a candidate did not emerge from valid party primaries.”
Both Lawan, who is the current Senator representing Yobe North Senatorial District, Akpabio and Umahi were aspirants in the presidential primary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Lawan had been battling Bashir Machina who is APC’s Yobe North senatorial candidate to relinquish the ticket to enable him seek reelection to the Senate in 2023.