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2023: Why We Rejected Akpabio, Lawan Senatorial Candidacy – INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has given reasons why it rejected the senatorial candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senator Ahmed Lawan for Yobe North and Godswill Akpabio for Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial Districts.

It will be recalled that the current senate president, Lawan lost the APC presidential primary as well as Akpabio.

It is believed that the two politicians also procured the party’s senatorial forms as a backup should they miss out of the presidential primary.

But INEC’s National Commissioner, Festus Okoye said the electoral body does not recognise any APC candidate for both senatorial zones.

“In these two constituencies, two names were forwarded and the commission made a determination that the names were not persons who emerged from a validly conducted party primaries and we did not publish their names. That is where we are,” Okoye said during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

“Their (Lawan and Akpabio) names were uploaded by the APC to our candidates’ nomination portal but the Commission made a determination that they were not the candidates that emerged from valid party primaries,” he added.

“The commission did not publish their names and their particulars in their constituencies. So, the implication is that as of today, the APC does not have candidates in those two constituencies.”

Last week, INEC denied doctoring and backdating documents to accommodate the nominations of Lawan and Akpabio as senatorial candidates for the 2023 general elections.

“The Forms of the two personalities in question were not published by the Commission,” INEC said.

“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.”

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