FINAL CANDIDATES LIST: NO WITHDRAWAL OR CANDIDATES’ SUBSTITUTION ALLOWED EXCEPT FOR DEATH OR COURT ACTION – INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has published the final list of candidates for national elections, emphasizing that “no withdrawal or substitution of candidates is allowed except in the case of death or pursuant to an order of a court of competent jurisdiction”.
This was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by Mr Festus Okoye, Esq. National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC.
The statement reads:
“At its regular weekly meeting held on Tuesday, 20th September, 2022, the Commission approved the final list of candidates for national elections (president, senate and federal constituencies) pursuant to Section 32 (1) of the Electoral Act 2022 and item 8 of the Timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general election.
The publication of the full name and address of all candidates follows the conduct of the political parties primaries and nomination exercise. Nigerians may recall that at the end of the process, the personal contact of all candidates were displayed in their constituencies nationwide as provided by Section 29 (3) of the Electoral Act.
Subsequently, validly nominated candidates had the opportunity to voluntarily withdraw their candidature by notice in writing and personally deliver such to the party that nominated them for the election. Thereafter, political parties substituted such candidates under Section 31 of the Electoral Act of which 15th July, 2022 for national elections and 12th August, 2022 for state elections were the last date as provided for in the Commission’s schedule and Timetable of activities. Thereafter, no withdrawal or substitution of candidates will be allowed except in the event of death or order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
The list published today contains the names of candidates validly nominated at the close of party primaries and the period earmarked for withdrawal and substitution of candidates. The final list of candidates for state elections (Governorship and State constituencies) will be published on 4th October, 2022 as already indicated on the schedule and Timetable of activities for the 2023 general elections.
We note the fact that not all the political parties conducted primaries in all the constituencies submitted the particulars of candidates that emerged from valid primaries or substituted their candidates after fresh primaries and submitted same within 14 days as provided in section 33 of the Electoral Act. This has led to various litigations, some of which are ongoing. Where the Commission was served with court orders by aggrieved aspirants or candidates before the publication of this list, this has been indicated in the remark column.
In summary, all the 18 political parties have fielded presidential candidates and their running mates for presidential elections. For legislative elections, 1, 101 candidates are vying for Senatorial elections, 3,122 for Federal Constituencies”.
Equally, the Commission appealed to channel all observations on the list of candidates to the Commission and must be signed by the National Chairman and Secretary of the political party and supported with an affidavit as provided in Section 32 (2) of the Electoral Act 2022.