By Christopher Tom, Uyo.
Politicians and political parties have been advised to take pains and read the new provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act as amended, so as to be properly guided as some sections of the 2010 and 2012 Electoral Act have been repealed.
Akwa Ibom State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the independent Electoral Commission, Mr. Mike Igini, gave the advice during a radio interview monitored in Uyo.
The advice by the REC followed reports making the rounds that DIG Ekoudom, who won a senatorial seat, hands up same to former minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio, without due process.
According to Mr. Igini, the rumoured emergence of former Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio as the APC senatorial candidate for Akwa Ibom North West (Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District) was nothing but dreaming of the slot because by virtue of the provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act, substitution of candidates by political parties is no longer permitted under the Electoral Act.
“By virtue of section 31 of the 2022 Electoral Act, the law is saying that those who have emerged at all levels up to the presidential level can decide that they are no longer interested. You can write an application signed by yourself, delivered to your party, which will now deliver to INEC but nobody can shave the political head of another person in his or her absence.”
The report of the Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District APC primary as submitted to INEC headquarters in Abuja is final. It is concluded. The train has left the station. The timeline is clear. All those who are in politics should go and study the 2022 Electoral Act very well. I hear people talking about substation. If you look at Section 31 and Section 34 of Electoral Act, those of you who are still carrying the old idea of the 2010, 2012 Electoral Act in your head thinking you can substitute willfully, it is no longer so.
“Number two is only in the case of death. Even at that, there will now be a fresh primary. This is the new law. So what we are seeing going on is clearly a misnomer. The rerun can only be conducted between and among those who participated in the first senatorial election of May, 27, 2022 and the senatorial primary for Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District was not canceled, was not nullified, was not inconclusive. It was conclusive, it was concluded and the report was written and it is final because you cannot reopen that anymore.” He explained.
The Akwa Ibom INEC REC said the rumour of a new rerun senatorial primary for Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District was strange and unknown to law as it was never monitored by INEC.