INEC rejects Ezekwesili’s withdrawal from presidential race

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said the period for withdrawing from contesting any position in the upcoming elections has passed.

The electoral umpire’s statement is coming after Oby Ezekwesili released a statement that she had withdrawn from the presidential race.

The Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) said she wanted to give room for a coalition against candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC).

But Rotimi Oyekanmi, chief press secretary to the INEC chairman, said November 17 was the last date for withdrawal.

The statement read: “It is impossible for any presidential candidate to withdraw from the race now. According to the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2019 General Elections, the last day for withdrawal by candidates or replacement of withdrawn candidates by political parties was 17th November, 2018 for Presidential and National Assembly Elections.

“The deadline for Ezekwesili or any candidate in that category to withdraw or be replaced has passed.”

Section 35 of the electoral act, which gives deadline from withdrawal from any election, states: “A candidate may withdraw his candidature by notice in writing signed by him and delivered by himself to the political party that nominated him for the election and the political party shall convey such withdrawal to the Commission not later than 45 days to the election.”

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