Nigeria’s electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has rejected the withdrawal from the senatorial rerun by the minister of the Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
The rerun for Akwa Ibom North West senatorial district is scheduled to take place on Saturday, January 25.
A letter by the electoral body to the All Progressives Congress (APC) which is Akpabio’s party in December said it was already too late for the former senator who is now a minister to be replaced by another candidate in the race.
Noting that the last day for withdrawal or substitution of candidates for the 2019 National Assembly election had elapsed said the rerun is to be conducted among the same political parties and candidates who participated in the nullified elections.
INEC said in its letter: “Your letter dated 10 December 2019 wherein you forwarded Nomination Forms of one Hon. Ekperikpe Luke Ekpo as substitute candidate of your Party for the court-ordered rerun refers.” The letter signed by INEC’s secretary, Rose Oriaran-Anthony.said the commission cannot approve the request of the senator and the party for substitution of the candidate in the rerun election. “Consequent upon the above, the commission cannot accede to your request and Sen. Godswill Akpabio remains the candidate of the APC for the Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District court-ordered rerun election,” the letter added.