The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied altering and backdating documents to accommodate the nominations of Ahmad Lawan and Godswill Akpabio as senatorial candidates for the 2023 general elections.
INEC stated this in a statement signed by National Commissioner Festus Okoye on Tuesday, noting that it is yet to recognise “any of the two personalities as a Senatorial candidate.”
Lawan, the incumbent Senate President and Akpabio had both contested in the All Progressives Congress presidential primaries, which Bola Ahmed Tinubu won.
While most Senate primaries had already been held before the presidential primary, both have chosen to run for the Yobe North and Akwa Ibom North West senatorial districts, respectively. This has sparked debate about whether it is lawful for them to do so.
Okoye noted that the matter is still in court.
“The Commission did not publish the Forms of the two personalities in question,” INEC said.
“The decision of the Commission triggered legal action, which is still ongoing.
“It, therefore, defies logic and common sense to go around and submit doctored documents purportedly recognising the duo as candidates when the matter is sub-judice.”
Read the Commission’s complete statement below:
INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION
SPURIOUS ALLEGATIONS IN RESPECT OF THE NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES IN SOME SENATORIAL DISTRICTS
Not for the first time, our attention has been drawn to a story published by an online medium that the Commission has doctored, backdated and certified documents to accommodate the nominations emanating from Yobe North and Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial Districts in respect of Senators Ahmed Lawan and Godswill Akpabio. Nothing can be further from the truth. As evidence of the alleged role played by the Commission, a true certified copy of Form 9C uploaded by their political party and received by the Commission on 17th June 2022 when the nomination portal closed was presented.