The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday reacted to claims that it substituted candidates of the African Action Congress (AAC) or any other party’s nominations for the Ondo State governorship election.
The AAC had on Sunday threatened to take legal action against the commission for replacing its deputy governorship candidate with an unknown person in the list of candidates released by the electoral body on Friday.
The INEC made the clarification in a statement issued by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, in Abuja.
The statement read: “On July 31, INEC published the provisional list of candidates for the Ondo State governorship election scheduled for October 10 in its state office in Akure and also uploaded same to its website and social media platforms.
“The list contains the names of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates submitted by 17 political parties, including the AAC at the close of nomination on July 28.
“However, one of the aspirants in the primaries of the party accused the commission of substituting his name as the rightful governorship candidate of the party, while another aspirant also claimed that the commission substituted his deputy governorship candidate.
“Contrary to these assertions, INEC did not substitute the name of any aspirant or candidate.
“The commission received only one submission from the AAC through its dedicated online portal for candidate nomination.
“There was no human interface. 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.”
Okoye said based on the Supplementary Regulations and Guidelines for Activities of Political Parties issued by INEC on June 9, the national chairmen and national secretaries of political parties were issued access codes to the commission’s portal.
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