APC Makes Case For Lawan, Akpabio, Others May Sue INEC

2 years ago
2 mins read

Indications have emerged that the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are making overtures to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to accept Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, Sen. Godswill Akpabio and Governor David Umahi as senatorial candidates of Yobe North, Akwa Ibom North West, and Ebonyi South Senatorial Districts respectively, and may go to court if the move fails.

This is contained in a position paper obtained by Prime Business Africa which was conveyed to the APC National Working Committee (NWC) by the party National Legal Adviser, Ahmad Usman El-Marzuq wherein he advised them to insist on the three candidates (Lawan, Akpabio and Umahi).

INEC had rejected the senatorial candidates for Akwa Ibom North West, Ebonyi South and Yobe North Senatorial Districts submitted by the APC on the ground that they did not participated in the primary elections.

In the case of Lawan, after losing to be elected as the presidential candidate of the APC during the primaries, he made moves to claim the ticket for Yobe North Senatorial District already being held by Bashir Machina.

READ ALSO: Lawan Loses, As INEC Confirms Machina APC Authentic Candidate For Yobe North

It was rumoured that Machina was nominated as a “placeholder” to secure the ticket for Lawan, hence his participation in the primary that he won.

He, however, stood his ground and refused to withdraw for Lawan to take over.

Machina had issued a statement two weeks ago affirming his continued aspiration and pursuit of the mandate during the 2023 general election and threatened to go to court if denied the ticket. Mr Machina’s supporters had some weeks ago organised a solidarity rally where they insisted the politician will not step down for the senate president, who has repeatedly represented the constituency for 23 years both as House Representatives member and senator.

The APC leadership appears to be backing Lawan as the national chairman Adamu had recently muted that he is the candidate of the party in the election.

For the case of Akwa Ibom North West, APC submitted name of Akpabio as the candidate but the commission rejected it, stating that he was not among the aspirants that participated in the primary election.

The party had conducted a primary election that produced Udom Udo Ekpoudom as the party’s candidate for the senatorial district but later held a different primary that saw Akpabio also emerge.

Recall that Akpabio also participated in the presidential primary but stepped down Tinubu at the convention ground.

In Ebonyi South, Governor Umahi after losing the presidential bid, replaced his younger brother, Austin, who was allegedly nominated as placeholder for him.

The APC legal adviser in the advisory document he sent to NWC argued that as provided in the electoral laws, INEC has no power to reject any candidate submitted by any political party.

He claimed that INEC’s action is unconstitutional and advised APC to formally request the electoral body to accept the three candidates submitted.

He added that if the INEC fails to accept them, the party should seek redress in court to the commission to comply with the provisions of the electoral laws.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission has no powers to reject the name of a Candidate of a Political Party and as such, the recent actions of INEC are unconstitutional and should be challenged.

“It is thus advised that the Commission be approached with a request to immediately accept the Party’s candidate and where that fails, legal action be instituted mandating the Commission to comply with the provisions of the law accordingly,” El-Marzuq stated.

RAED ALSO: INEC Has No Power To Reject Nominated Candidate – APC Legal Adviser


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