Senate President Ahmad Lawan may be one of the old legislative faces that will be missing when the tenth national assembly resumes after the 2023 election.
This is as his name is missing on the list of senatorial candidates released on Friday by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
It was reports that apart from Lawan, the names of former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, and Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi were also missing.
The three politicians all contested the presidential primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) but lost out to the eventual winner, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
It is understood that the trio were hoping to pick up the senatorial tickets for their party after losing the presidential primaries but that may not be possible based on developments so far.
Speaking about the situation, INEC National Commissioner, Festus Okoye declared that the commission is not under obligation to publish the name of any candidate that does not participate in a valid primary even if the party sends such names to it.
“If a political party submits to the Independent National Electoral Commission the name of a candidate that did not emerge from party primaries or did not emerge from valid party primaries, the commission is not obligated to publish the name of such a candidate,” he said on Channels TV.
Okoye said anyone whose name didn’t get published in the current list didn’t emerge from a valid primary.
In his words, “So, if the name of any candidate was not published, or if the personal particulars of any candidate was not published today, the implication is that such a candidate did not emerge from valid party primaries.”
He however added that the current list is not the final list for the election as INEC would publish the final list of candidates on September 20, 2023.
“The final list of validly nominated candidates will be published by the Independent National Electoral Commission on the 20th day of September, 2022. And that is for presidential and national assembly candidates.
“What the Commission has published, as of today, complies with Section 29(3) of the electoral act which says that the moment political parties comply with the provision of Section 29 (1) of the electoral act in terms of the submission of its validly nominated candidates, that the Commission shall publish the personal particulars of such candidates in the constituencies where the candidates intend to contest election.
“In other words, for instance for a senatorial candidate, if a senatorial district covers four local governments, we will publish the personal particulars of such a candidate in the four local governments.
“So that is exactly what we have done. And we published the personal particulars of candidates that emerged from valid party primaries. And that’s what the law says we should do.”