INEC says the APC cannot replace Godswill Akpabio who withdrew from the senatorial rerun in Essien Udim senatorial district area of Akwa Ibom state. The electoral commission discloses that all parties and candidates that contested the senatorial election during last general poll will be on the ballot for the rerun election in Essien Udim senatorial district.
Festus Okoye, the INEC national commissioner in charge of voter education and publicity, explains that the period for substitution of candidates by political parties had expired The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) will not be allowed to replace its candidate, Godswill Akpabio, who withdrew from the senatorial rerun in Essien Udim senatorial district area of Akwa Ibom state.
The re-run in the senatorial district was ordered by the Court of Appeal following a petition by Akpabio challenging the declaration of Senator Chris Ekpenyong of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the election. This is why Akpabio withdrew from senatorial rerun.
PDP alleges, insists minister must participate in the poll INEC says the period for substitution of candidates by political parties had expired. However, Akpabio, who is now the minister for Niger Delta Affairs, asked APC to find a replacement and send the name to INEC for approval due to his current ministerial duties.
But INEC told This Day in an interview that the APC and all the parties and candidates that filed valid nominations and contested the senatorial election during last general poll will be on the ballot for the rerun election in Essien Udim senatorial rerun scheduled to take place on January 25, 2020.
“The date and period for the nomination and substitution of candidates have elapsed and no political party can withdraw or substitute its candidate or nominate or introduce a new candidate in the re-run election. He noted that a new candidate cannot inherit the votes gotten from the validated votes in the other local governments and by so, cannot participate in the re-run election.
The INEC official said the commission will not allow any other candidate other than the candidate that contested the election that was annulled by the court. Meanwhile, the PDP in Akwa Ibom state has claimed that Akpabio pulled out the re-run election in his senatorial district out of fear of another defeat.
The party described Akpabio’s action as a joke, insisting that the minister and his party must submit themselves for confirmatory defeat. Just in: Read Governor Yahaya Bello’s reaction to Dino Melaye’s defeat at senatorial rerun Iniobong Ememobong who is the PDP’s publicity secretary in Akwa Ibom state said on Friday, December 13, stated that it was inappropriate for Akpabio to seek to be replaced by another candidate.