The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has stated that its officials did not monitor any primary that produced Godswill Akpabio as senatorial candidate for Akwa Ibom north-west.
Akpabio, former minister of Niger Delta affairs, had contested the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC), but he withdrew from the race on June 7, and asked his supporters to back Bola Tinubu, former Lagos governor.
Prior to the presidential primary, on May 27, Udom Ekpoudom, a former deputy inspector-general of police (DIG), had won a primary organised for the Akwa Ibom north-west senatorial ticket.
However, a parallel primary was also conducted which was won by Ekperikpe Ekpo, but which was said to have been later cancelled over irregularities, while a rerun was conducted on June 8, with Akpabio declared as winner of the exercise.
Also Read: Akpabio Wins APC Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial Ticket
Speaking on the development with TheCable on Sunday, Mike Igini, resident electoral commissioner (REC) in Akwa Ibom, stated that INEC officials did not monitor any primary outside the one conducted on May 27.
“Senatorial primary was conducted on the 27th of last month. Was he an aspirant on that day? The answer is no. And the report of that day has been written since,” he said.
“That event has taken place and concluded before the presidential thing came up. He’s the one people should be asking questions if he participated in that primary. INEC is not involved in the conduct of party primaries. We are just an observer.”