- The Independent National Electoral Commission has highlighted conditions for parties to substitute candidates' names
- The nation's electoral umpire disclosed it would take a decision in accordance with the Electoral Act
- Festus Okoye, INEC’s chairman of information and voter education committee, made this known through a statement on Friday, June 24
On Friday, June 24, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) listed the conditions for political parties to substitute candidates whose names have been forwarded to the commission, Channels TV reports.
For the electoral umpire, the law does not give any political party the right to replace a validly nominated candidate as it is the prerogative of the individual to be substituted.
APC and Labour Party nominees
This comes amid reports that some political parties, including the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Labour Party (LP), nominated their vice-presidential candidates as placeholders, pending the conclusion of talks for a substantive candidate to be picked.
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While the former forwarded the name of Ibrahim Kabiru Masari as its vice-presidential candidate, the latter had nominated Doyin Okupe for the same position.
INEC Commissioner speaks
Reacting to the development, INEC national commissioner, Festus Okoye, said the electoral body would take a decision in accordance with the Electoral Act.
“As far as the law is concerned and as far as the commission is concerned, the commission makes it mandatory that the moment a presidential candidate emerges, such a presidential candidate must nominate an associate who shall run with him/her as a vice-presidential candidate. And so, both are seen as Siamese twins; they move together, and they fall together.
“In the forms submitted by the various political parties, they submitted forms relating to their presidential candidates and they also submitted forms relating to their vice-presidential presidential candidates, and that is in compliance with the provisions of the constitution and in compliance with the provisions of the law.”
Okoye explained further:
“There is a provision in the Electoral Act for withdrawal of candidates validly nominated and the law provides that a political party cannot substitute a candidate that has been validly nominated except in two instances; if the nominated candidate dies or if the nominated candidate withdraws from the race.
“And in terms of withdrawal, the nominated candidate shall – in his own writing – write a letter to the political party that nominated him, indicating that he has withdrawn from the race and that must also be accompanied by an affidavit duly sworn to by the said candidate.
“Then the political party that nominated the candidate will now forward same to the Independent National Electoral Commission saying that our presidential candidate has withdrawn, or our vice-presidential candidate has withdrawn, and these are the documents of withdrawal and this is the person we are using to replace.
“But as of today, the political parties nominated their presidential candidates and nominated their vice-presidential candidates, so the issue of withdrawal is at the absolute discretion of the duly nominated candidate and no one else.”
According to Okoye who is also INEC’s chairman of information and voter education committee, the political parties submitted forms containing the names of their presidential and vice-presidential candidates, as well as their particulars and sworn affidavits.
He stressed that none of the political parties neither indicate that they were submitting the document or name of a candidate as a placeholder.
The INEC official stated:
“All the political parties that submitted list and particulars of their candidates said they were submitting the list of their presidential candidates and vice-presidential candidates; the issue of submitting a name in lieu, or submitting a name as a placeholder did not even arise.”
2023 election: INEC, house of reps deny extension of voter registration
Nigeria’s electoral body, the independent electoral commission (INEC) has played down reports by media stating that it has agreed to extend the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise by 60 days.
Legit.ng recalls that the house committee on electoral matters on Wednesday, June 22 at plenary told the House of Representative that it has reached a resolution with the electoral body to extend the CVR exercise by 60 days.
Reacting to the report, the spokesperson to the INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, stated that those reports were false and that the commission has not issued a statement confirming the extension.