The Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday denied the substitution of the name of the deputy governorship candidate of the African Action Congress in Ondo ahead of the governorship election in the state fixed for October 10.
The AAC had on Sunday accused the commission of publishing a “strange name” as running mate to its governorship candidate, Adekunle Adeleye.
The party stated that it sent the name of Mrs Mopelola Evelyn Ibrahim as the party’s deputy governorship candidate but was surprised to see that her name was replaced with one Samuel Tope Omotosho by INEC.
In a statement by Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, the electoral body said, “On Friday 31st July, 2020, the Independent National Electoral Commission published the provisional list of candidates for the Ondo State governorship election scheduled for 10th October 2020 in its state office in Akure and also uploaded same to its website and social media platforms.
“The list contains the names of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates submitted by 17 political parties, including the African Action Congress (AAC) at the close of nomination on 28th July 2020.
“However, one of the aspirants in the primaries of the party accused the commission of substituting his name as the rightful governorship candidate of the party, while another aspirant also claimed that the commission substituted his deputy governorship candidate.
“Contrary to these assertions, INEC did not substitute the name of any aspirant or candidate. The commission received only one submission from the AAC through its dedicated online portal for candidate nomination. There was no human interface. The names uploaded on the portal by the political parties were the same names published. The commission only receives the names of candidates and running mates from the national headquarters of political parties, duly signed by both the national chairman and national secretary.
“The commission does not deal directly with aspirants, candidates or state branches of political parties in matters relating to the nomination, submission and substitution of candidates of political parties as that is the exclusive preserve of the political parties as represented by the national chairman and national secretary. The commission duly published the names of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates as submitted by the national chairman and secretary of the African Action Congress.”