INEC: We stand by election monitoring report on Yobe APC senatorial primary

September 8, 2022
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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it stands by the report of its monitoring team on the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial primary in Yobe north district.

Over the past months, there has been some controversy over the APC Yobe north senatorial ticket.

In May, Bashir Machina won the APC primary for the district.

At the time of the senatorial primary, Ahmad Lawan, senate president, was contesting the APC presidential ticket.

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After Lawan lost the presidential primary, APC listed the senate president as its candidate for the Yobe north district — although Machina has insisted that he will not withdraw from the race.

In June, INEC had confirmed Machina as winner of the APC senatorial primary, but when the list of candidates was published, the party had no candidate listed for Yobe north.

The electoral umpire, subsequently, explained that it did not publish the name of any APC candidate for the district because the party did not nominate a candidate from a validly-contested primary.

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On Wednesday, the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), a civil society organisation (CSO), expressed concern over a counter affidavit filed in a federal high court sitting in Damaturu, the Yobe capital, on the case involving Lawan and Machina.

The group said there were feelers that INEC is deliberately creating a condition to upturn the victory of a “democratically recognised candidate”.

Commenting on the development in a statement on Thursday, Festus Okoye, INEC spokesperson, said the commission stands by the report submitted by its monitoring team on the senatorial primary.

“Notwithstanding the matter in court and without prejudice to the consideration or likely outcome of the case in court, the commission reiterates its earlier position that it stands by the report of its monitoring team and it was on the basis of that report that the commission did not publish the name and personal particulars of any candidate for the Yobe north senatorial district,” Okoye said.

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“Consequently, the commission will review its quality assurance protocols, including the preview by appropriate ranking officials of all processes filed on its behalf to ascertain their correctness in all material particulars with all reports and all information at its disposal before their presentation so that a situation like this is not repeated.

“The commission has also instructed the external counsel briefed to handle this matter to reflect the correct position, which aligns with the report submitted by our monitoring team.”

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