Senatorial rerun: INEC rejects Akpabio’s withdrawal, says no substitution

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has reportedly rejected the new candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC for Saturday’s rerun elections in Akwa Ibom Northwest Senatorial District.

In the wake of the appointment of its candidate, Sen. Godswill Akpabio as Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, APC had last month forwarded a replacement to INEC for the rerun election slated for this Saturday.

But speaking Tuesday in Abuja during the swearing-in of two new Resident Electoral Commissioners RECs, Dr. Alalibo Sinikiem Johnson from Bayelsa State and Umar Mukhtar Gajiram from Borno State, Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said since the rerun elections are court-ordered exercises, political parties are barred by law from substituting their candidates.

“On Saturday this week, elections will hold in 28 constituencies spread across 11 States of the Federation. Six of these elections involve entire constituencies while 22 elections will be held only in some polling units.

“There will be no substitution of candidates as these are not bye-elections but court-ordered re-run elections and the period for nomination of candidates had elapsed since the end of 2018 in preparation for the 2019 general election”, Yakubu said.

INEC also announced its readiness for the 28 rerun elections which would take place across 11 states of the Federation.

“Where the elections involve entire constituencies, National as well as some Resident Electoral Commissioners will be deployed”, the INEC boss stated.

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