The Ekiti State Chairman, Action Peoples Party, Chief Moses Awogbemi, on Saturday urged the Independent National Electoral Commission to urgently include the name of its candidate, Prince Adeyinka Alli, in the list for the June 18 Ekiti State governorship election to avoid voiding the poll
Awogbemi said that the party followed necessary steps stipulated in the Electoral Act 2022, including a court order to effect the replacement of its erstwhile candidate, Mrs Christianah Olatawura, with a new one.
He wondered why INEC had not effected the candidate change since its application.
The APP chairman, who spoke at a press conference in Ado Ekiti, said, “Olatawura, who was the earlier governorship candidate is now the deputy governorship candidate following an agreement by all party members. The substitution was done in conjunction with our party’s national leadership.
“The change was informed by the resolve of the party to field a younger person as its candidate, to put the party in better stead to win. Olatawura had written in accordance with the law on her voluntary withdrawal as the party’s candidate, which the party subsequently effected and replaced her with Alli.
“We believe by May 19, the final list of candidates for the Ekiti election will be published by INEC. We are optimistic that it will be changed to Alli. If that does not happen, it will be taken up. But let me say that if the commission failed to publish our new candidate, the June 18 poll will be invalid, null, and void.
“We had our primary election on January 26 monitored by the officials of INEC and the security agencies where Olatawura emerged as the candidate. But after due consultations and meetings, we agreed that we should change our governorship candidate and deputy for us to put up a good fight during the poll.
“We did the needful by forwarding the name of the new governorship candidate and the former candidate’s withdrawal letter to the commission, but unfortunately INEC did not affect it.’’
He added that they approached the Ekiti State High Court, Ido Ekiti Division presided over by Justice J. A Apuabi to seek redress.
Awogbemi further said that the court agreed with them and ordered last week that INEC publish the name of the new candidates; Adeyinka Alli as governorship candidate and Olatawura as the deputy governorship candidate of APP.
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