Edo Poll: Three parties substitute candidates

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that three political parties substituted their candidates earlier nominated for the Edo State governorship election, scheduled for September 19.

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Festus Okoye, said this on Wednesday in Abuja.

According to him, the Action Alliance (AA), Labour Party (LP) and African Democratic Congress (ADC) were the three parties that met the July 13 deadline for withdrawal and substitution of candidates for the Edo election.

Okoye said that the AA substituted its governorship candidate, Obhafuoso Paul with Edemakhiota Osaimiamia; while LP replaced Omobayo Marvellous with Omogbelehan Pauline as its deputy governorship candidate for the election.

He added that ADC substituted its earlier nominated governorship candidate Akhigbe Ehiabhi with Mabel Oboh as well as replacing Reuben Edokpayi Mabel Oboh as the party deputy governorship candidate.

“Section 35 of the Electoral Act provides that a candidate may withdraw his candidature by notice in writing signed by him and delivered by himself to the political party that nominated him for the election,” he said.

He said that the section also stipulated that the political party shall convey such withdrawal to the commission not later than 45 days to the election.

He 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,” Okoye said.