Ondo 2020:We didn’t sub­sti­tute AAC can­di­date - INEC

Business Day (Nigeria) - - POLITICS & POLICY - JAMES KWEN, Abuja

The In­de­pen­dent Na­tional Elec­toral Com­mis­sion ( INEC) Mon­day said con­trary to some spec­u­la­tions, the Com­mis­sion did not sub­sti­tute the name of any as­pi­rant or can­di­date, par­tic­u­larly that of the African Ac­tion Congress (AAC) in the Oc­to­ber 10 Ondo gov­er­nor­ship elec­tion. Fes­tus Okoye, INEC Na­tional Com­mis­sioner and Chair­man, In­for­ma­tion and Voter Ed­u­ca­tion Com­mit­tee in a state­ment said the Com­mis­sion re­ceived only one sub­mis­sion from the AAC through its ded­i­cated on­line por­tal for can­di­date nom­i­na­tion. Ac­cord­ing to Okoye, there was no hu­man in­ter­face and the names up­loaded on the por­tal by the political par­ties were the same names pub­lished, adding that the Com­mis­sion only re­ceived the names of can­di­dates and run­ning mates from the Na­tional Head­quar­ters of Political Par­ties, duly signed by both the Na­tional Chair­man and Na­tional Sec­re­tary. He ex­plained that by the Sup­ple­men­tary Reg­u­la­tions and Guide­lines for Ac­tiv­i­ties of Political Par­ties is­sued by the Com­mis­sion on 9th June 2020, the Na­tional Chair­men and Na­tional Sec­re­taries of Political Par­ties as con­tained in the Com­mis­sion’s records shall be is­sued ac­cess codes for the elec­tronic sub­mis­sion, with­drawal and sub­sti­tu­tion of names and par­tic­u­lars of their can­di­dates as elected at party pri­maries mon­i­tored by the Com­mis­sion. “The political par­ties shall use the Ac­cess Codes pro­vided by the Com­mis­sion to up­load the names and par­tic­u­lars of their can­di­dates based on the pre­scribed Forms EC9 (formerly EC CF 001) and the ap­pro­pri­ate Form EC9 (A) – (G) se­ries (formerly CF 002) as pro­vided on the Com­mis­sion’s web­site. “The Com­pleted forms EC9 and EC9 (A) – (G) se­ries, signed by the Na­tional Chair­man and Na­tional Sec­re­tary of the Political Party, are up­loaded to the Com­mis­sion’s pre­scribed por­tal along with the rel­e­vant cov­er­ing let­ter ad­dressed to the Chair­man of the Com­mis­sion. “The Com­mis­sion does not deal di­rectly with as­pi­rants, can­di­dates or State Branches of Political Par­ties in mat­ters re­lat­ing to the nom­i­na­tion, sub­mis­sion and sub­sti­tu­tion of can­di­dates of political par­ties as that is the exclusive pre­serve of the Political Par­ties as rep­re­sented by the Na­tional Chair­man and Na­tional Sec­re­tary. The Com­mis­sion duly pub­lished the names of the Gov­er­nor­ship and Deputy Gov­er­nor­ship can­di­dates as sub­mit­ted by the Na­tional Chair­man and Sec­re­tary of the African Ac­tion Congress (AAC). “As­pi­rants, can­di­dates and State Branches of Political Par­ties with is­sues or chal­lenges re­lat­ing to their nom­i­nated can­di­dates should ap­proach and re­solve such is­sues with the Na­tional Chair­men and Sec­re­taries of their re­spec­tive political par­ties,” Okoye in­structed. The INEC Chief Spokesman also stated that: “On Fri­day 31st July 2020, the In­de­pen­dent Na­tional Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (INEC) pub­lished the Pro­vi­sional List of Can­di­dates for the Ondo State Gov­er­nor­ship Elec­tion sched­uled for 10th Oc­to­ber 2020 in its State Of­fice in Akure and also up­loaded same to its web­site and so­cial me­dia plat­forms. “The list con­tains the names of the Gov­er­nor­ship and Deputy Gov­er­nor­ship can­di­dates sub­mit­ted by 17 political par­ties, in­clud­ing the African Ac­tion Congress (AAC) at the close of nom­i­na­tion on 28th July 2020. How­ever, one of the as­pi­rants in the pri­maries of the party ac­cused the Com­mis­sion of sub­sti­tut­ing his name as the right­ful Gov­er­nor­ship can­di­date of the party, while an­other as­pi­rant also claimed that the Com­mis­sion sub­sti­tuted his Deputy Gov­er­nor­ship can­di­date”.

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