Wednesday, February 03, 2016

INEC bars APC’s Ikeazor in Anambra Central election re-run

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has barred the All Progressives Congress, APC, from presenting Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor in the forthcoming Senate re-run elections.

The exclusion of Ikeazor is in line with the directive of the commission barring political parties from bringing in new candidates in 69 scheduled court ordered re-run elections whose dates were announced by the commission yesterday.

This was disclosed in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday and signed by the commission's secretary, Augusta Ogakwu.

INEC said it took the decision following Monday's consultations with major stakeholders in the electoral process as well as in the public interest.

The affected states are Gombe, Adamawa, Kaduna, Plateau, Niger, Benue, Nasarawa and Kogi. Others are Taraba, Imo, Abia, Anambra, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Rivers. That of Gombe has, however, been conducted since January 27. The exercise in the various states would now take place from February 13 to March 19, 2016.

In adherence to the rulings of the various courts in some of the cases, INEC said some political parties and their candidates have been excluded from the race. It also said that only those parties and candidates who participated in the annulled polls would be eligible to take part in the forthcoming rerun.

"Consequent upon the judgment of the court, the commission will conduct the elections in 69 of the said constituencies with the same political parties and their respective candidates who participated in the annulled elections," INEC said.

With this development, INEC said in the case of Anambra Central Senatorial rerun, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate in the election, Sen. Uche Ekwunife are excluded. Ekwunife has since defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, while the then candidate of the APC in the annulled election, Sen. Chris Ngige is now a minister of the federal republic. APC had recently conducted a fresh primary that threw up Mrs. Ikeazor as the party's candidate for the election.

In Kogi State, the APC has also been excluded from the senatorial rerun in both the Central and Eastern districts. Both Senators Abdulsalami Mohammed Ohiare and Abdulrahman Abubakar of the APC would not take part in the rerun, despite having recently orchestrated the conduct of fresh primary elections by the APC which again threw them up as winners.

The situation is no different in the case of the Okene/Ogori-Magongo federal constituency of Kogi State where the APC and its candidate, Hon. Abdullahi Bello have been excluded from the race, thus clearing the coast for his major challenger, Tijani Damisa of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

AbleMoJah® Nigeria.

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