Two candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) vying for seats in the Lagos State House of Assembly have accused the party of forging their signatures in forms sent to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to request the withdrawal of their names from its list.
Olanrewaju Suleiman Afinni, candidate for Lagos Island II Constituency, and Hon. Olumoh Saad Lukman, candidate for Ajeromi/Ifelodun Constituency 01, have instituted summons against the party on the matter.
According to the letters submitted to INEC on their behalf and exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters, Afinni and Lukman are said to have withdrawn from the race “after due consultations with Lagos State Stakeholders”. However, the candidates say this is not true, insisting that they never wrote any letter or gave up their tickets.
Their withdrawal forms submitted to INEC were attached to a cover letter dated November 30, 2018 and signed by Honourable Mala Buni, APC National Secretary and Otunba Niyi Adebayo, APC Deputy National Chairman (S). Adebayo signed the letter on behalf of the APC National Chairman.
However, the duo of Afinni and Lukman insist that the Notice of Withdrawal Forms CF004C submitted on their behalf were done without their knowledge.
Afinni’s name was replaced with one Giwa Shakirudeen Olushola, while Lukman’s name was replaced with one Hon. Famakinwa Adedayo Olufemi.
Protesting the replacement, the aspirants have written letters through their counsel, Madyan Legal Consult, informing INEC of the “clandestine plans by some highly placed persons to steal their mandate by substituting their names with those of other people”.
The letter by Maydan Legal Consult on behalf of both candidates, dated November 30, 2018, noted that the plan is to forge their signatures on "a purported notice of withdrawal of candidature so as to unlawfully substitute" their names with the names of some unknown persons.
They have also written individual letters to the APC National Chairman. While noting that he won the Lagos State primaries held on October 5, 2018, like Lukman, Afinni stressed that he didn't know how the withdrawal of their candidature came about.
The letter addressed to the APC National Chairman read: “I know for a surety that I did not write the letter at all, neither did I sign same. I also know that I did not deliver the letter to any of the offices of our great party, neither did I instruct any person to deliver the letter to any of the offices of our great party on my behalf".