The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the All Progressives Congress (APC) has no senatorial candidate for Yobe north and Akwa Ibom north-west districts for the 2023 elections.
Festus Okoye, INEC spokesperson, said this on Sunday in an interview on Channels Television.
In June, INEC had excluded Ahmad Lawan, senate president, and Godswill Akpabio, former minister of Niger Delta affairs, from the list of candidates contesting to represent Yobe north and Akwa Ibom north-west districts, respectively.
Meanwhile, APC had submitted the names of Lawan and Akpabio as senatorial candidates, despite the controversy that surrounded the primaries involving the duo in their respective districts.
An online report had recently claimed that INEC had “backdated” the certified true copies of its report on the APC primaries to accommodate some aspirants — a claim that was dismissed by the electoral commission.
Speaking on the development, Okoye said the commission decided to exclude the names of Akpabio and Lawan from the candidates’ list, because they were not nominated from validly-conducted primaries.
The INEC spokesperson added that any political party that nominates candidates who were not elected at validly-conducted primaries will not contest in the elections.
“The commission has made it very clear that under section 29(1) of the electoral act, it is the responsibility to forward to INEC the list and personal particulars of their members who emerged from validly-conducted party primaries,” he said.
“In these two constituencies, two names were forwarded and the commission made a determination that the names were not persons who emerged from validly-conducted party primaries and we did not publish their names. That is where we are.
“So, the commission will not go out of its way to plead with a political party to forward the name of a candidate that emerged from a validly-conducted primary.
“If a political party does not forward the name of the candidate that emerged from a validly-conducted primary, the implication is that the political party will not have the candidate in the election for that particular constituency and that is just the law.