OrderPaperToday – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared that it cannot reject the candidacy of Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, as candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Yobe North Senatorial District ahead of the 2023 general elections. 

The electoral body was responding to the allegations of discriminatory stance against the candidates nominated by some political parties for the 2023 general elections as submitted by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

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In his response, an INEC Commissioner, Mohammed Haruna, according to Premium Times, argued that the electoral body has no power to reject the names of candidates sent by political parties.

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Haruna noted that the parties have the rights to hold primaries, while INEC is empowered to monitor them to ensure full compliance with the rules and regulations of the land and party.

“INEC has no powers to reject names sent by political parties. Primaries are the sole prerogatives of parties. INEC’s responsibility is merely to monitor the primaries and make sure they abide by their own regulations, the Electoral Act & the Constitution.

Our power in that regard rests on the fact that our reports are admissible as evidence whenever an aggrieved candidate petitions his party or the courts.

It is therefore up to an aggrieved candidate to apply for the Certified True Copy (CTC) of our reports for presentation as evidence that his party did not abide by any or all of the three sets of regulations I mentioned,” he noted.

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The INEC Commissioner further said that the electoral umpire has only accepted the names of the candidates as mandated by the 2022 Electoral Act but is yet to make its decision known.

The names of the Senate President, who did not participate in the APC Senatorial primaries, reportedly made the list submitted to the commission by the party.

At the close of the submission of the list of candidates by political parties on June 17, the ruling APC is said to have forwarded the names of some of its candidates who are reported not to have participated in its primaries and were therefore ineligible to be on the ballot in the general elections.

READ ALSO: “I’d fight APC for my ticket” – Yobe North Candidate

The Senate President had in May received the APC Presidential nomination form bought for him by his supporters and ran in the June 7 Presidential Primaries of the party.

While he was unable to participate in the Senatorial primaries of his party because of his presidential ambition, another party member, Bashir Machina participated in the polls supervised by INEC and emerged the winner.

With the insistence by Machina that he would not step down for anyone, it remains to be seen how INEC will handle the issues. 

 

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