The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has revealed how political parties can substitute candidates for the forthcoming presidential election.
This is coming as some of the vice-presidential candidates submitted to INEC are said to be merely space keepers.
This implies that these vice-presidential candidates would later be changed as they were submitted to meet up with the deadline provided by the Electoral Act.
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar submitted the name of Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, reportedly submitted the name of one Kabir Ibrahim Masari, a Katsina State politician, while Peter Obi of the Labour Party, LP, gave INEC the name of his Campaign Director-General, Doyin Okupe.
Appearing on Arise Tv on Monday morning, the INEC’s National Commissioner of Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, said that the running mates can only be changed if they write the commission, attaching a sworn affidavit.
He said “The law says that as a presidential candidate, you must nominate an associate to run with you and as far as the Independent National Electoral Commission 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 of today and nothing has changed.
“For there to be a substitution of candidates, 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.”