Senate President Ahmad Lawan
Senate President Ahmad Lawan
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has dismissed reports that it has recognised Senate President Ahmad Lawan, and former Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio, as senatorial candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Festus Okoye, said this in a statement yesterday.

Daily Trust reports that Bashir Machina and Udom Ekpoudom had won the APC’s ticket for Yobe North and Akwa Ibom North-West senatorial districts.

But the party leadership substituted their names with Lawan and Akpabio, who contested and lost the APC presidential primary to a former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

But INEC rejected the substitution.

Okoye, yesterday, said it was untrue that INEC has doctored, backdated and certified documents to accommodate the nominations emanating from Yobe North and Akwa Ibom North West senatorial districts in respect of Lawan and Akpabio.

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

“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 actions, which are 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. The Form was certified on 15th July 2022. 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.

“For the record, the Commission has not recognised any of the two personalities as a senatorial candidate.

“We call for responsible reportage as against the unwarranted attack on the commission and its officials over a matter than can be easily fact checked.”

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