The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has explained why it is not possible for Oby Ezekwesili, the presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, to withdraw from the presidential race.
The reason, it explained, was that the last day for withdrawal was November 17, 2018.
INEC gave the explanation on Thursday in a statement signed by its Chief Press Secretary, Rotimi Oyekanmi.
The statement was issued following the announcement by Ezekwesili Thursday morning that she was no longer contesting for the position of the president.
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The statement by INEC reads: “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and Schedule of Activities for the 2019 General Elections, the last day for withdrawal by candidates or replacement of withdrawn candidates by political parties was 17th November, 2018 for Presidential and National Assembly Elections.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, relevant to the case reads:
“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.”