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2023: Lawan, Akpabio Are Not Senatorial Candidates – INEC

2023: Lawan, Akpabio Are Not Senatorial Candidates – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it did not accommodate the nominations of Senators Ahmed Lawan and Godswill Akpabio in respect of Yobe North and Akwa Ibom North-West senatorial districts.

The Commission said it has not recognised any of the two personalities as a senatorial candidate in the 2023 general election. INEC National Commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday, titled: ‘Spurious Allegations In Respect Of Nomination Of Candidates In Some Senatorial Districts’ made available to journalists.

Okoye said as evidence of the alleged role played by the Commission, a certified true copy of Form 9C uploaded by their political parties and received by the Commission on June 17, 2022 when the nomination portal closed, was earlier presented.

For clarity, he said the Form EC9 (submission of names of candidates by political parties) is the Form uploaded by parties on the INEC nomination portal. He said it was clearly indicated on the title of the Form which was received on June 17, 2022 when the portal closed.

The statement reads in part: “What follows is the publication of the personal particulars of nominated candidates which was done a week later. The Forms of the two personalities in question were not published by the Commission.

“The decision of the Commission triggered legal action which is still ongoing. It, therefore, defies logic and common sense to go around and submit doctored documents purportedly recognising the duo as candidates when the matter is clearly sub-judice.

“As part of the ongoing case in Court, a law firm requested the Commission for a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the Form EC9 submitted by the All Progressives Congress (APC) as its candidate for Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District which we are duty bound to oblige them under the law.”

Okoye said the Form was certified on July 15, 2022, adding that if minimum care has been exercised by the promoters of the story, they would have seen the two stamps of the Commission bearing different dates on the Form. “It is this Form that is now misconstrued as INEC’s endorsement,” he said.

He, however, called for responsible reportage as against the unwarranted attack on the Commission and its officials over a matter than can be easily fact-checked. He added that this was not the first time the attention of INEC had been drawn to a story published by an online medium that the Commission has doctored such documents, saying that nothing can be further from the truth.


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