Nigeria’s governing party, the All Progressives Congress, APC has stated that its Senatorial Candidate for the Anambra Central Senatorial Zone election, Barrister Sharon Ikeazor is still in the race to contest the election scheduled for March 5, 2016.
The party’s National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni made the clarification in a press statement.
He said the clarification is sequel to reports by some media outlets suggesting that the APC Senatorial Candidate has been excluded from the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
“The party is not in receipt of any communication from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in respect of the purported exclusion of the APC Senatorial Candidate.
For the sake of clarity, the following should be noted:
1. Dr. Chris Ngige who contested the election in March 2015 on the platform of the APC is now a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and has withdrawn from the fresh election ordered by the Court of Appeal.
2. To avoid a vacuum, the party after due process presented the candidature of Barrister (Mrs.) Sharon Ikeazor as replacement for the original candidate who withdrew from the race.
3. By law, a political party has the right to nominate and sponsor candidates in all elections in Nigeria. It is immaterial whether it is a general election, bye–election, new election, fresh election or election of any nomenclature.
4. The right of a political party to substitute a candidate who dies or withdraws his/her candidacy is contained in Sections 33 and 35 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended)”. He said.
The party expressed confidence in INEC to abide by the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended to deliver peaceful, free, fair and credible elections.
Anambra State Central Senatorial district in southeast Nigeria is preparing for its senatorial rerun election and some people have challenged the candidature of some candidates running.
On December 17, 2015, A Court of Appeal had removed the senator representing the district, Mrs. Uche Ekwunife on the grounds that she was not validly nominated by her then party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for the election.
The court consequently ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to exclude new candidates in a fresh election to hold within 90 days.