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Independent National Electoral Commission Tuesday published names of the 14 political parties fielding candidates for in the Edo State governorship election.
The list, which names of – 13 males and one female and their qualifications, indicated that the state governor Godwin Obaseki, who was disqualified by the All Progressive Congress (APC) for issues relating to discrepancies in his academic credentials, refused to submit only his First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC) to the electoral body.
Apart from the discrepancies noticed in the governor’s National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Certificate, the APC screening committee had accused Obaseki of presenting a fake Higher School Certificate (HSC) from an Institute of Continuing Education, Benin.
He was also accused of forging his bachelor of arts (B.A.) certificate in classical studies from the University of Ibadan.
But the governor, who defected to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to emerge its candidate in the forthcoming poll, submitted same certificates to the electoral body, including his West Africa Examination Council, (WAEC) result, B.A certificate, with an MBA in Finance and International Business being his highest qualification.
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who emerged the candidate of the APC also presented a degree in law as his highest qualification to INEC.
Other parties that beat INEC nomination deadline include Action Alliance, (AA); African Democratic Congress (ADC), African Democratic Party (ADP) All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA); Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Labour Party (LP),
Others are New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) National Rescue Movement (NRM), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Young Progressive Party (YPP), Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).
The INEC national commissioner and chairman, information and voter education committee, Festus Okoye, in a statement on Tuesday, appealed to voters to scrutinize the particulars of the candidates and take legal actions against those who present false information to the commission.
Okoye said the umpire would display the personal particulars, including academic qualifications of all the candidates nominated by political parties for the governorship elections.
He stated: “At the close of nominations at 6 pm on June 29, 2020, 14 political parties used the dedicated online portal of the Commission to submit the list of candidates that emerged from their primaries.
“The provisional list of the candidates disaggregated on the basis of name, gender, age, and qualification has been uploaded on our website and social media platforms.
“Furthermore, and as required by law, the particulars of the nominated candidates will be published in the Edo State office of the Commission and simultaneously uploaded on our website on Thursday, July 2, 2020.
“We encourage members of the public to go through the nomination forms, affidavits and documents submitted by the parties on behalf of their candidates, as any person who has reasonable grounds to believe that any information in the affidavit or any document submitted by any candidate is false, may file a suit at the Federal High Court, High Court of a State or the FCT against such a candidate seeking a declaration that the information contained in the affidavit is false.
“The final list of duly nominated candidates will be published on August 13, 2020, after withdrawals by candidates and substitution by their political parties.”
The National commissioner reminded parties that primaries for the Ondo Governorship election that will commence on July 2 and end on July 25, 2020, insisting that the last date for the submission of the names of duly nominated candidates is July 28, 2020.
“The Commission will like to take this opportunity to again draw the attention of all political parties, candidates, aspirants, and supporters on the need to obey all Laws, Regulations, and Guidelines, especially in their campaigns. Equally important is the need for strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocol”, he added.