The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied replacing the name of the deputy governorship candidate for African Action Congress (AAC) for the October 10, 2020 election.
The commission said that all names uploaded by political parties on its dedicated portal were same names published.
The rebuttal was a reaction to the claim by the AAC’s Chairman in Ondo State, Mr. Alex Adeniyi, that INEC illegally substituted the name of the party’s running mate, Mrs. Mopelola Evelyn Ibrahim, with a non-member, Samuel Tope Omotosho.
The INEC, in a statement signed by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said that contrary to the allegation, the commission did not substitute the name of any candidate.
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Okoye said the commission received only one submission from the AAC through its dedicated online portal for candidate nomination, adding that there was no human interface in the entire process.
He noted that the electoral umpire duly published the names of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates as submitted by the National Chairman and Secretary of the AAC.
He said: “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.
“By the supplementary regulations and guidelines for activities of political parties issued by the commission on June 9, 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.”