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Senatorial Seat: Game Up For Akpabio, Lawan As INEC Announces Final Verdict 



The hope of Senate President, Ahmed Lawan and former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, returning to the upper chambers in the National Assembly is gradually diming, as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has ruled that both stand disqualified as senatorial candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The candidacy of both Lawan and Akpabio has been shrouded in confusion and legal tussle with the APC insisting on them despite rejection by the Commission which claimed that it did not monitor the primaries that produced them as the party’s candidates.

Reacting formally on the controversial issue in a statement signed by National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, the Commission advised them to seek legal redress against the decision to disqualify them, according to Sunday Sun.

While emphasising that the commission is “funtus officio in the two cases», it maintained that it is not backing down from its earlier decision.

In a statement on the issue, INEC said: “The attention of the Commission has been drawn to speculations circulating online on the outcome of some of the recent primaries conducted by political parties and related issues.


“In particular, allegations intended to impugn the integrity of the Commission have been made in respect of the Akwa Ibom North West and Yobe North senatorial districts.

“To set the record straight, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria mandates the Commission to monitor the organisation and operation of political parties, including their finances, conventions, congresses and party primaries.

“In line with its constitutional and legal obligations, the commission deployed monitors to the various constituencies and received reports of such exercise. In relation to the primaries for the Akwa Ibom North West and Yobe North senatorial districts, the Commission stands by the monitoring reports received from our state offices.

“For this reason, the commission did not publish the personal particulars of any candidate for the two constituencies at variance with the state reports. Right now, the Commission is funtus officio in the two cases. Aggrieved parties are at liberty to approach the Federal High Court and seek redress as provided in Section 285 of the Constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Sections 29(5) and 84(14) of the Electoral Act, 2022.»

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