Kogi guber: INEC did not disqualify Natasha ― Festus Okoye

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it didn’t disqualify the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Barrister Natasha Akpoti, rather the commission maintained that it didn’t receive any valid nomination from the party.

The National Commissioner, Voter Education Committee of INEC, Chief Festus Okoye made this known on Wednesday at a workshop organized for journalists on 2019 Kogi Governorship Election, held in Lokoja.

According to him, the SDP Deputy governorship candidate was not 35 years old, thus not eligible to be nominated.

Okoye, who spoke against the backdrop of the controversy been made against the purported disqualification of the Kogi State SDP candidate, noted that, “by the constitutional provision, the SDP was deemed not to have submitted a candidate for the forthcoming Kogi governorship election since at the close of nomination, their deputy governorship candidate was not validly nominated.”

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While throwing more light on the disqualification of the SDP in the forthcoming governorship election, Barr Okoye said the declaration by the SDP deputy governorship candidate in a sworn affidavit to form CF001, which he deposed to on 6th September 2019, showed that he was born on 5th October 1985, while his attached state of origin form showed he was born on 5th October, 1987.

The National Commissioner said following the invalid nomination of the SDP deputy governorship candidate who was not qualified by age, by virtue of his status, which the constitution says must be deemed to have same qualification of the Governorship candidate who nominated him as his running mate, the party was deemed not to have submitted nothing at the close of nomination, as such could not build something on anything through their planned substitution.

The Commissioner pointed out that eight political parties submitted invalid nominations for the Kogi state governorship election, while eighteen withdrew their nomination.

He added that twenty three political parties would participate in the November governorship election.

The National Commissioner explained that 6139 election officials would be deployed for the Kogi governorship election, adding that the election would hold in the 21 local government areas of the state, in 2548 polling units and 3508 voting units, with 1, 646, 35 registered voters.

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