INEC discloses how Peter Obi, Tinubu, others can change their running mates

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has declared its position on the change of candidates for the 2023 presidential election.

MOUTHPIECE NGR had reported that some presidential candidates submitted the names of their running mates to the electoral commission, as space holders.

The space holders are running mates only on paper, and they could be substituted at any time.

Their names were just submitted to beat the deadline provided by the Electoral Act.

Recall that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has picked Ifeanyi Okowa, the Governor of Delta State as his running mate.

Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the APC and Mr Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, has not officially announced their running mates.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu has submitted the name of the Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Bello Masari.

Peter Obi of the Labour Party submitted the name of his Campaign Director-General, Doyin Okupe.

Festus Okoye, the INEC’s National Commissioner of Information and Voter Education, while speaking on a television programme on Monday morning, said the running mates can be changed if only they write the Commission, with a sworn affidavit.

“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,” he said.

“Politically 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 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.”

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