The Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC ) has rejected the purported withdrawal of presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) Dr Oby Ezekwesili.
The commission noted Ezekwesili’s withdrawal was outside the window of opportunity granted to political parties contesting in the 16th February 2019 presidential poll.
72 candidates were listed for the election, which is just 21 days away.
The commission stated her withdrawal contravenes the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, which stipulated that a candidate can only withdraw from election 45 days to the poll.
Ezekwesili declared her presidential ambition last October.
Responding to the development, the Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of INEC, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi said her decision was also outside the commission’s timetable and schedule of activities for the forthcoming polls.
He stated: “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and Schedule of Activities for the 2019 General Elections, the last day for withdrawal by candidates or replacement of withdrawn candidates by political parties was 17th November, 2018 for Presidential and National Assembly Elections.
“Therefore, the deadline for Ezekwesili or any candidate in that category to withdraw or be replaced has passed.“