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INEC Clears Tinubu, Atiku, Obi, 15 others for 2023 Poll


INEC Clears Tinubu, Atiku, Obi, 15 others for 2023 Poll

The Nation Newspaper

The coast is clear for 18 presidential candidates to contest in next year’s election.

Eminent politician Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (All Progressives Congress), former Vice President Atiku Abubakar (Peoples Democratic Party), Peter Obi (Labour Party), Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso (New Nigeria Peoples Party) and Adebayo Adewole (Social Democratic Party) were among standard bearers cleared yesterday by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The publication of their names by the commission meant that the flagbearers were considered validly nominated by their respective political parties.

Also cleared for the senatorial poll were 1,008 candidates, including Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi (Ebonyi South), former Niger Delta Affairs Minister Senator Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom Northwest), Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole (APC, Edo North) and Governor Okezie Ikpeazu (PDP, Abia South).

However, Senate President Ahmed Lawan’s name was omitted as candidate for Yobe North District. His rival in the race for the ticket, Basir Machina, was not listed.

Also, in Edo State, INEC upheld the list of candidates submitted by the Dan Orbih faction of the PDP.

The electoral agency stated that political parties were free to make their observations on the list, adding that the observations, which should be signed by their national chairmen and secretaries, must be supported by affidavits.

Other prominent candidates on the list include Senator Sam Egwu (PDP, Ebonyi North), Orji Kalu (APC, Abia North), Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP, Abia North), Augustine Akobundu (PDP, Abia Central), Murtala Nyako (APC, Adamawa Central), Ismaila Adamu (APC, Adamawa South), Aminu Abbang (PDP, Adamawa Central), Amos Yohanna (PDP, Abia North), Dauda Yaroe (PDP, Adamawa South) and Bassey Aniekan (PDP, Akwa Ibom Northeast).

Others are Stella Oduah (PDP, Anambra North), Uche Ekwunife (PDP, Abia Central), Christian Ubah (PDP, Abia South), Seriake Dickson (PDP, Bayelsa West), Konbowei Benson (PDP, Bayelsa Central) and Benson Agadaga (PDP, Bayelsa East).

Other candidates include Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central), Yemi Adaramodu (APC, Ekiti South), Senator Biodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti South), Funso Ayeni (PDP, Ekiti North), Olusegun Fasuyi (APC, Ekiti North), Nnamani Chimaroke (PDP, Enugu East), Onyeagocha Uche (PDP Imo East), Kabiru Gaya (APC, Katsina Central), Atiku Bagudu (APC, Kebbi Central) and Sunday Karimi (APC, Kogi West).

A statement by INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said: “All the 18 political parties have fielded candidates and their running mates for the presidential election.

“For legislative elections, 1,101 candidates are vying for 109 senatorial seats and 3,122 candidates for federal constituencies, i.e. House of Representatives seats, making a total of 4,223 candidates contesting for 469 legislative positions.

“In terms of gender distribution, 3,875 candidates are male, made up of 35 for presidential and vice presidential, 1,008 for Senate and 2,832 for House of Representatives.

“Similarly, 381 females comprising one for presidential, 92 for Senate, and 288 for House of Representatives are contesting. There are also 11 Persons with Disability (PWDs) in the race.

“At its regular weekly meeting yesterday, the commission approved the final list of candidates, pursuant to section 32(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 and Item Eight of the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election.”

The statement said the publication of full names and addresses of nominated candidates followed the party primaries and completion of the nomination.

According to INEC, at end of the process, the personal particulars of all nominated candidates were displayed in their constituencies nationwide as provided by Section 29(3) of the Electoral Act.

The statement added: “Subsequently, validly nominated candidates had the opportunity to voluntarily withdraw their candidature by notice in writing and personally deliver such notice to the political party that nominated them for the election.

“Thereafter, political parties substituted such candidates under Section 31 of the Electoral Act for which the last day was 15th July 2022 for national elections and 12th August 2022 for state elections as clearly provided in Item Six of the Commission’s Timetable and Schedule of Activities.

“Thereafter, no withdrawal or substitution of candidates is allowed except in the event of death as provided in section 34(1) of the Electoral Act or pursuant to an order of a Court of competent jurisdiction”.

“The list published today contains the names of candidates validly nominated for national elections at the close of party primaries and the period earmarked for withdrawal and substitution of candidates.

“The final list of candidates for State elections (Governorship and State Constituencies) will be published on 4th October 2022 as already indicated on the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election.

“We note the fact that not all the political parties conducted primaries in all the constituencies, submitted the particulars of candidates that emerged from valid primaries or substituted their candidates after fresh primaries within 14 days as provided in section 33 of the Electoral Act.

“This has led to numerous litigations, some of which are ongoing. Where the Commission was served with Court orders by aggrieved aspirants or candidates before the publication of this list, these have been indicated under the remark column.

“The list for specific constituencies is published in each state where they are located while the comprehensive nationwide list has been uploaded to the Commission’s website.

“We appeal to all political parties to channel any observations on the list of candidates to the Commission and such must be signed by the national chairman and secretary of the political party and supported with an affidavit as provided in Section 32(2) of the Electoral Act 2022.”

Yobe: Lawan, Machina names missing on list

The name of Mohammed Bukar, who passed away last week, was listed.

It was learnt that his demise has not been officially communicated to INEC.

Bukar was nominated to represent Gujba, Gulani, Tarmuwa and Damaturu Constituency.

He died at the Yobe State Teaching Hospital after a protracted illness.

Former Governor Ibrahim Gaidam and Senator Ibtrahim Bomoi were listed on the website.

Enugu: INEC clears Ugwuanyi, others
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Chief Okechukwu Ezea and Senator Chimaraoke Nnamani were among the senatorial candidates cleared.

Ugwuanyi was cleared to contest for Enugu North District on the platform of the PDP. He will be slugging it out with Ezea, who was cleared to contest on the platform of LP.

Also, one of the longest serving members of the House of Representatives, Toby Okechukwu, was cleared to contest the on the platform of LP in Awgu/Aninri/Oji River Constituency.

Okechukwu has been in the House since 2003 on the platform of the PDP, but lost the party’s ticket to Chief Anayo Onwuegbu before he switched over to LP.

Umahi, Egwu, Okorie on list in Ebonyi
Apart from Umahi and Egwu, a former member of the House of Representatives, Linus Okorie, made the list in Ebonyi State.

Umahi was earlier omitted from the list in June, following the controversy that trailed his emergence.

The governor had contested for the presidential primary, which he lost to Asiwaju Tinubu, while his younger brother, Austin Umahi, won the Ebonyi South senatorial primary in May.

However, after the primary, the younger Umahi stepped down for the governor, leading to a rerun, which the governor contested unopposed.

But INEC refused to list his name as candidate and instead chose to leave the position vacant.

Umahi went to the High Court to compel the electoral umpire to accept his name as candidate.

But, the runner-up in the first primary, Ann Agom-Eze, joined the suit and urged the court to recognise her as the candidate.

Justice Fatun Riman, in his ruling, however, ordered another primary.

Dissatisfied, Agom-Eze, appealed the judgment at the Appeal Court in Enugu and filed for a stay of execution.

But the APC in Ebonyi obtained an order of the Federal High Court to go ahead with the primary, which Umahi won, although the matter at the Appeal Court is still on.

Okorie contested for Ebonyi South ticket. He was alleged to have won at a parallel primary, while Senator Michael Ama Nnachi also emerged in another.

The duo went to the Federal High Court to determine the authentic candidate. Okorie later withdrew from the case and defected to the LP where he clinched the ticket in a rerun last month.

Apart from Senator Ama Nnachi, who was listed as candidate of the PDP, other names on the list are a former PDP Chairman, Onyekachi Nwebonyi, who is contesting for Ebonyi North on the platform of the APC and former Chairman of Ezza South Local Government Area, Kenneth Eze, who is listed as APC candidate for Ebonyi Central.

A former House of Representatives member, Lazarus Ogbe, is listed as candidate of PDP for Ebonyi Central while Senator Emma Onwe is the candidate of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) for Ebonyi Central.

Edo: Obaseki group loses out
Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki has lost out of the power tussle in the PDP, as INEC recognised candidates of the faction, led by the National Vice Chairman, Southsouth, Chief Dan Orbih.

The two PDP factions, in May this year, held parallel primaries, which led to litigation. The final judgment is yet to be delivered by the Supreme Court.

Orbih, the immediate past Edo PDP chairman, is being backed by Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike, who is at loggerheads with the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

The current chairman of PDP in Edo, Dr. Tony Aziegbemi, is an ally of Obaseki.

However, as a Plan-B, most of the supporters of Obaseki emerged as candidates of Labour Party (LP) and Social Democratic Party (SDP) for the 2023 elections.

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