The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied substituting the candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the coming October 10 governorship elections in Ondo State.
The INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC) Festus Okoye said on Monday in Abuja that the commission 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 the same to its website and social media platforms.
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He said that the list contains the names of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates submitted by 17 political parties, including the 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.
“Contrary to these assertions, INEC did not substitute the name of any aspirant or candidate.
“The Commission received only one submission from the AAC through its dedicated online portal for candidate nomination. There was no human interface.
“The names uploaded on the portal by the political parties were the same names published. The Commission only receives the names of candidates and running mates from the National Headquarters of Political Parties, duly signed by both the National Chairman and National Secretary,” Okoye said.
He said 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.
He added that 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 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,” he added.
Okoye said that the Commission duly published the names of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates as submitted by the National Chairman and Secretary of the AAC.
He urged aspirants, candidates, and state branches of political parties with issues or challenges relating to their nominated candidates to approach and resolve such issues with the National Chairmen and Secretaries of their respective parties.