On Monday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) stated that the concept of a “placeholder” or dummy vice presidential candidate, as used by political parties, had no place under the Nigerian constitution.
After the conclusion of the presidential primaries, INEC set the nomination deadline for vice-presidential candidates for June 17.
But, during an interview on ARISE TV on Monday, INEC Commissioner for Voter Education and Information, Barrister Festus Okoye, ruled out the concept of “placeholders” for vice-presidential candidates, stating that it had no place in INEC’s constitution (INEC).
According to him, “a placeholder is a uniquely Nigerian creation” for which the statute of the commission makes no provision.
According to him, the constitution makes it quite plain that presidential candidates cannot compete alone and must nominate a running mate. And as far as INEC is concerned, the presidential candidates have filed their running mates for the presidential election.
“As far as we’re concerned, there is no form provided by the presidential candidate that states ‘we’re submitting this person’s name as a stand-in,’ he said.
According to him, 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, 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 timeframe specified by law. This is the only way that candidates can be replaced.