Nigeria’s Electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has rejected the withdrawal from the Senatorial rerun election by the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, 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, said that it is 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 has elapsed, it stated that the rerun is to be conducted among the same political parties and Candidates who participated in the nullified election.
INEC said in its letter: “Your letter dated 10th 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, stated that 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 Commissioner 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.
INEC disclosed that it is already too late for the former Senator who is now a Minister to be replaced by another Candidate in the race; therefore, Akpabio will have no choice, but to resign as Minister, to take part in the court-ordered rerun election.