OrderPaperToday – Except urgent corrective measures are taken, some candidates who failed to meet the basic age requirement prescribed by the 1999 constitution may get elected into the senate.
This is because the list of candidates cleared to contest by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been revealed to contain some weighty discrepancies.
The lists provide details of all the candidates cleared for presidential, governorship, national and state assembly elections such as age, disability status, education qualifications, among others.
However, some candidates on the list are younger than the age limit prescribed.
The Forth alteration to the constitution to Section 65 (1)(a) and (b) recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari provides thus.
“A person shall be qualified for election as a member of –
(a) the Senate, if he is a citizen of Nigeria and has attained the age of thirty years;
(b) the House of Representatives, if he is a citizen of Nigeria and has attained the age of twenty-five years.”
Surprisingly, some senatorial candidates are below the 30 years minimum age requirement, a detailed analysis of the list by OrderPaperNG shows.
For instance, Bilyaminu Abdulahi who is running under the platform of Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) for Zamfara Central senatorial district is only 26 years, clearly a breach of the provision cited above.
Several senatorial candidates are below the age stipulated in section 65 thus: Ekpo Imoh George (Akwa Ibom North East) under Mega Party of Nigeria (MPN); Peter Ejeh Igwe (Sokoto East) under Change Advocacy Party (CAP); Bello Abdulhammed (Taraba North) under Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA); Bakundi Lawan (Yobe North) under Modern Democratic Party (MDP); and Ibrahim Muhammadu (Zamfara Central) under Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) are 28 year old respectively. This is 2 years below the age mandated by the law.
Furthermore, Magaji Adams, the candidate of Democratic Alternative (DA) for Benue South is 25 years old, which is 5 years below the requirement.
Several attempts to get clarification from INEC on this discovery proved futile.
The Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, and the Director of Voters Education and Publicity, Oluwole Osaze did not pick calls placed to their phones nor responded to messages sent to them.