The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said on Wednesday three political parties had substituted their candidates for the September 19 governorship election in Edo State.
The INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, disclosed this to journalists in Abuja.
He said the three political parties – Action Alliance (AA), Labour Party (LP) and African Democratic Congress (ADC) met the July 13 deadline for withdrawal and substitution of candidates for the election.
According to him, the AA substituted its governorship candidate, Edemakhiota Osaimiamia with Obhafuoso Paul; while LP replaced Omogbelehan Pauline with Omobayo Marvellous as its deputy governorship candidate for the election.
The ADC substituted its earlier nominated governorship candidate, Mabel Oboh with Akhigbe Ehiabhi.
The party also announced Reuben Edokpayi as its deputy governorship candidate.
Okoye noted that Section 35 of the Electoral Act provides that a candidate may withdraw his candidature through a notice signed by him and delivered to the party that nominated him for the election.
He added that the section also stipulated that the political party shall convey such withdrawal to the commission not later than 45 days to the election.
The INEC official said: “At the close of the period for withdrawals and replacement, three political parties carried out withdrawals and substitutions.
“The withdrawal and substitution of candidates were done by the political parties and communicated to the commission.
“The letter of withdrawal by candidates is routed through their respective political parties and the Commission is not permitted to lift the veil to investigate whether the letter of withdrawal by any of the candidates is genuine or not.
“The commission receives and acts on the communication from the chairmen and secretaries of political parties and does not receive, entertain or act on letters and communication from aspirants or candidates relating to nominations, withdrawals and substitutions.
“Any issue or challenge or problem with the genuineness or otherwise of withdrawals and substitutions are within the domestic realm of political parties and the commission has no role to play in its resolution.”
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