According to Barrister Mike Igini, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Akwa Ibom State, the Independent National Electoral Commission's report on the Akwa Ibom North-West (Ikot Ekpene) senatorial ticket is "final and cannot be reopened again," and Senator Godswill Akpabio has no say in it.
The rerun primary was held at the Skill Acquisition Centre, Ikot Ekpene, and was won by Akpabio, the recently-retired Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, who received 478 votes out of the 512 authorized delegates.
Igini, however, said that the rerun primary that resulted in Senator Godswill Akpabio's selection as the All Progressives Congress candidate for the district is anomalous and illegal in his remarks on Tuesday during the Comfort FM news and current affairs show in Uyo.
He asserts that the May 27, 2022 primary, which resulted in the election of Udum Ekpoudum (ret. ), a former deputy inspector general of police, continues because it was not canceled nor declared inconclusive. Senator Akpabio's rise, he continued, is just a "Nollywood fantasy."
“By virtue of Section 31 of the 2022 Electoral Act, the only way somebody can be replaced in any form is that we no longer have substitution by political party. What you have now is withdrawal by individual or nominee and or death.
“The law is not saying you should go and kill people so that you can have yourself on the ballot. No. The law is saying that those who have emerged at all levels up to the presidential level, you can decide that you are no longer interested. You can write an application signed by yourself, delivered to your party who 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 talk about substitution. If you look at Section 31 and Section 34 of the 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 wilfully, it is no longer so.
“Then 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 cancelled, 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 declared.©Standard Gazette, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s publisher is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Standard Gazette with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.