INEC to Tinubu, Obi: Placeholder VP nominees strange to the law

L-R, Tinubu, Obi, Kwankwaso

L-R, Tinubu, Obi, Kwankwaso

In a jolting message to APC presidential candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi and NNPP candidate Rabiu Kwankwaso, INEC said the concept of “placeholder” for vice-presidential candidates has no place in its rules.

The three candidates had submitted interim nominees as vice-presidential candidates to beat INEC June 17 deadline.

Tinubu submitted Ibrahim Kabiru Masari, a politician from Katsina State, while Obi nominated Doyin Okupe, a former aide of President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Kwankwaso named a little known, Ladipo Johnson as running mates.

All the VP nominees were named as place holders.

But in a comment on the development, INEC Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye said the concept of placeholder is strange to the electoral law.

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In an interview on ARISE TV on Monday, Okoye said the “placeholder is a unique Nigerian invention” for which the commission’s law has no provision.

“The constitution makes it very clear that you cannot run alone as a presidential candidate and must nominate an associate to run with you for that position, and as far as INEC is concerned, the presidential candidates have submitted their associates to run with them in the presidential election.

“As far as we are concerned, there’s no form submitted by the presidential candidate where they said ‘we’re submitting this person’s name as a place or space holder.

“The issue of space or place holder is a unique Nigerian invention that has no place in our constitutional and legal framework.

“Political parties’ candidates have submitted names of associates to run with them, and that is the position of the law as at today and nothing has changed. For there to be a substitution of a candidate, the vice-presidential candidate must write to INEC, with a sworn affidavit stating that he is withdrawing from the race within the time frame provided by the law.

“That’s the only way there can be a substitution of candidates.”

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