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An aide to one of the candidates in the race to represent the people of Ethiope Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives has said that Ben Igbakpa who is believed to be the candidate of the New Nigeria Political Party, NNPP, is out of the race.
The said source who spoke to Oasis Magazine under conditions of anonymity, added, “Igbakpa is not the NNPP Ethiope Federal Candidate.”
He continued, “The INEC Notice of Withdrawal of Candidate Form EC 11D signed by Ben Igbakpa is a statutory document. His signature is conspicuously captured on the front, and the constituency contested for is Okpe, Uvwie and Sapele. Coupled with the Final List of Candidates published by INEC this can’t be undone without going to court to get a court order to change the Constituency to Ethiope Federal.
“From the other documents we have in our possession, it is clear that his new party connived against him. However, if Igbakpa didn’t approach the court within 14 days of the publication of the Final List, Ben is as good as off the ballot. He is a wasted vote.”
Meanwhile, Igbakpa is No. 69 on the list on page 212 of INEC’s Final List of Candidates for National Elections where he is as the NNPP candidate for House of Reps for Okpe, Sapele, Uvwie.
“This list was published in accordance with Section 32 of the Electoral Act. INEC cannot just change the list as they don’t have the power. Only a court order can make corrections to the list. Which case has Igbakpa instituted to address this and why is he not intimating the electorate that he is in court? It is beyond nonchalant for a sitting member of the House of Reps not to address his constituents on his situation. Something is wrong. He must have a bad case and it can’t be rectified. Igbakpa is taking the masses for a ride soliciting for their votes while he knows that he’s not actually participating in the election. DON’T WASTE YOUR VOTE ON IGBAKPA,” he said.
In his words, “we are not saying he is not a candidate but he is not in the race with us in Ethiope Federal, that is d point”
“Also note that INEC has made three amendments to the final list of candidates in accordance with court orders but Igbakpa’s name has not been transferred to Ethiope Federal. As it stands, he is the Okpe, Uvwie and Sapele candidate,” he opined.
Attempts to speak with Igbakpa who is seeking a second term in the Green Chambers proved abortive at the time of filing this report, but a source close to the lawmaker claimed that the issue has been addressed and that he is in the race.