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Concept Of Placeholder Has No Place In Our Constitution – INEC

Tinubu, Peter Obi
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June 20, (THEWILL) – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has ruled out the concept of “placeholder” or dummy vice presidential candidate as done by political parties.

According to the Commission, the “placeholder” or dummy vice-presidential candidates has no place in the Constitution.

INEC had set June 17, as the deadline for the nomination of vice-presidential candidates, following the completion of presidential primaries of political parties.

However, as some political parties continued to search for the rightful vice-presidential candidate, and to beat the deadline set by the Commission, some candidates, including Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peter Obi of Labour Party (LP) submitted names of vice-presidential candidates whom they described as “placeholders or dummies.”

But, while speaking during a chat on ARISE TV on Monday, INEC Commissioner for Voters’ Education and Information, Barrister Festus Okoye, said the “placeholder is a unique Nigerian invention”, for which the commission’s law has no provision.

According to him, 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 placeholder”, he said.

Okoye said 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, adding that 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.

He added that the commission can only replace a candidate if the person writes a “sworn affidavit stating that he is withdrawing from the race within the time frame provided by the law.

“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”, he added.