The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has replaced David Umar with Mohammed Musa as the senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Niger east on its final list of candidates for the elections.
The development follows the decision of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on February 7, 2019, which sacked Umar and declared Mohammed Musa as the bonafide candidate of the party.
INEC, however, did not immediately replace Senator Umar’s name until the eve of the postponed elections (February 15).
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The document containing the development which was seen by Channels Television on Monday showed that Senator Umar’s name had been struck out by INEC and replaced with the name of Mohammed Musa using a pen.
The letter by INEC to the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Niger State, (INEC/LEG/DR/COR/32/1/391/T/11) dated 15th February, 2019 and signed by the Secretary to the Commission, Mrs Rose Oririawon-Anthony directed the REC to update the record of the list of final candidates earlier forwarded.
Speaking to Channels Television on the development, the REC, Professor Samuel Egwu, said INEC is bound to respect the decision of the court on the matter and that at the state level, they can only comply with whatever directive is given from the national office of the commission.
Meanwhile, Senator David Umar had filed an appeal challenging the decision of the Federal High Court.
He has also continued to affirm himself as the bonafide candidate of the APC for the election into Niger East Senatorial District despite the court ruling.
According to the Resident Electoral Commission in the state, should the appellant court rule in favour of Senator Umar, INEC would also replace Mohammed.
Musa’s name with the former, saying it would continue that way until the matter is laid to rest.