What INEC Told Tinubu, Obi On ‘Place Holder’ For Running Mates

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has given insight into the circumstances surrounding the issue of ‘Place holder’ nomination which has been invoked by some political parties in the country.

With the completion of presidential primaries across the country, some political parties like All Progressives Congress (APC), and Labour Party (LP), among others have resorted to choosing a ‘Place holder’ to replace the Vice-Presidential candidate slot.

The New Diplomat had reported that the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Friday submitted his nomination forms to INEC. It was gathered that Tinubu, in the form chose Ibrahim Masari as the ‘Place Holder’ for the VP slot.

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Many political analysts had said that the emerging development is an indication that the ruling party came up with the ‘Place holder’ idea to meet the statutory requirement and as well beat the Friday, June 17, 2022 deadline by INEC for the submission of presidential candidates and vice-presidential candidates running for the 2023 general elections.

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Speaking on the development, INEC National Electoral Commissioner for information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye said as far as the electoral commission is concerned, the political parties have nominated their respective associates for their vice-presidential candidate position.

Okoye explained that political parties in the nomination forms they submitted to INEC didn’t indicate whether the running mate is acting as a place holder or a vacuum holder.

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However, he noted that there is a period for withdrawals, adding that any of the vice-presidential candidates who want to withdraw must do so in writing with a sworn affidavit and within the timeframe prescribed by the law and the timetable.

Okoye said this during an interview session with Arise TV, monitored by The New Diplomat.

In his words, “There are two basic issues you have raised, the issue of whether there’s a place for a place holder in both our constitutional and legal framework. The Constitution makes it very clear that you cannot run alone as a presidential candidate, and that you must nominate an associate to run with you for that particular position.

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“As far as the Independent National Electoral Commission is concerned, the political parties have nominated an associate to run with them as presidential candidates. So as far as we are concerned, there is no form submitted by any of the political parties in terms of their nomination where they said, we are submitting this person’s name as a placeholder or a vacuum holder.

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“The issue of this placeholder is a unique Nigeria innovation that has no place in our position, our legal framework. What is the issue is that the political parties have nominated an associate to run with them as their vice-presidential candidates and that is the position of the law as of today.

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“What I’m saying is that there is a period for withdrawals, if any of the vice-presidential candidates withdraws in writing with a sworn affidavit, within the timeframe prescribed by the law and the timetable, then there can be a replacement. But that must be in writing, with a sworn affidavit,” INEC’s Okoye said.

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