The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has addressed the issue of using placeholder candidate.
Recall that some presidential candidates submitted the name of a member of their political party as a placeholder to meet the deadline of INEC.
Presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu and Peter Obi of the Labour Party, both used placeholders.
INEC says the concept of “placeholder” for vice-presidential candidates “has no place in our constitutional and legal framework”.
Following the completion of presidential primaries of political parties, INEC set June 17 as the deadline for the nomination of vice-presidential candidates.
In order to beat the deadline, some parties submitted names of vice-presidential candidates who they described as placeholders.
DAILY GIST had reported that Kabiru Masari was named as the running mate to Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), but some political analysts had said the APC welfare secretary is a “placeholder” before a final candidate is named.
Similarly, Doyin Okupe had announced that he would be “standing in as the vice-presidential candidate” for Peter Obi, the Labour party candidate, pending a final replacement.
Speaking with Arise TV on Monday, Festus Okoye, the commissioner for information and voter education of INEC, said the “placeholder is a unique Nigerian invention” for which the commission’s law has no provision.
He disclosed that the running mates can only be substituted if only they write INEC, attaching an affidavit.
Okoye 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.
“For there to be a substitution of the candidate, the Vice presidential candidate must write to INEC, with an 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.”