January 09, (THEWILL) – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied reports that the commission released another “final list” of candidates for the 2023 general election.
THEWILL reported that INEC had published the names of 18 presidential and 4,223 National Assembly candidates in its final list on September 20, 2022.
Several news mediums (not THEWILL) had reported that the electoral umpire published an updated final list on Sunday.
But the Commission, in a statement issued Monday, by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said “There cannot be a final list of candidates with just 46 days to the General Election.”
“The Commission wishes to state categorically, that no new publication of the final list of candidates was released as reported. The public should therefore discountenance the story.
“For the record, the final list of candidates for the 2023 General Election was published at least 150 days before the day of the election in compliance with the provision of Sec. 32(1) of the Electoral Act 2022. Accordingly, the final list for Presidential and National Assembly elections was published on 20th September 2022, while that of Governorship and State Assembly elections was published two weeks later on 4th October 2022. These are clearly indicated as item 8 on the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election released by the Commission on 26th February 2022.
“There cannot be a final list of candidates with just 46 days to the General Election except for names published as substitutions for candidates nominated earlier in compliance with Court Order. Moreover, some of the candidates that allegedly made the new “final” list are still in Court and the matter is therefore subjudice. Political parties, litigants and the public should be guided accordingly”, the statement added.