The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in a recent publication has denied claims that the commission recognizes Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and the former governor of Akwa Ibom state, Godswill Akpabio as senatorial candidates in the forthcoming elections.
The statement issued by INEC’s Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye clearly stated that the commission didn’t tamper with the published documents to accommodate the duo.
INEC took the initiative to address the matter after a media house published backdated documents which recognized the duo as senatorial candidates.
In case you missed it
INEC released a temporary list of candidates across the different political parties for the 2023 elections and some key names which have sparked controversies over the last few weeks were missing. The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, vying for Yobe North and Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial Districts were absent on the list released by INEC, amongst others.
The lawmaker Ahmad Lawan and fellow party compatriots Godswill Akpabio had contested in the presidential primaries of the All-Progressive Congress (APC) and lost. As a fall-back plan, the duo have laid claim to senatorial bids in their respective states, Yobe and Akwa Ibom.
While DIG Ekpo Udom (rtd) won the primary election held on May 27th 2022 for Akwa Ibom North West, Bashir Sheriff Machina solely contested the Yobe North senatorial district and secured the party’s ticket with 289 votes.
What to watch
According to INEC’s calendar, the commission would, on the 20th of September 2022, publish a final list of nominated candidates for both the National Assembly and the presidential elections. This is in accordance with Section 32 (1) of the Electoral Act 2022, which mandates the commission to publish nominated candidates 150days before the elections.
This list would clarify the conflicts involving Nigeria’s Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, former governor of Akwa Ibom, Godswill Akpabio, Governor Umahi of Ebonyi State amongst others.