We Are Not Aware of PDP Suit Challenging Recognition of APC, LP Presidential Runningmates – INEC 

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has clarified that no political party or group had served the commission  any court process against recognising the Presudential runningmates of the All Progressives Congress(APC) as well as Labour Party(LP).

Report had it that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)is  seeking  court order to stop the electoral body from recognising the replacement of vice presidential candidates bof the two political parties.
Festus Okoye, INEC spokesman, said on Friday that the commission was not aware that anybody submitted the name of anyone as a placeholder, and also not aware of the suit as the leadership had been quite busy with the activities of the Osun governorship election.

But he offered a general explanation to the INEC laws, in relations with the process followed by the two parties, saying that none of them notified INEC that the candidates they submitted as VPs were placeholders.

His words: “I’m not aware that we have been served with any document on the suit with the complexion you’re talking about. But let me say this. One, if a matter is in court, we’re not supposed comment on it. But secondly, I had addressed this that when political parties submitted the names of their vice presidential candidates, there was no provision for a placeholder in the forms they submitted.

“They submitted the forms for the presidential candidates and the forms for their vice presidential candidates. And that is the situation.

“If you look at section 33 of the Electoral Act, 2022, it says a political party shall not be allowed to change or substitute these candidates whose names have been submitted under section 29 of the electoral act, except in the case of death or withdrawal by the candidate.

But it goes ahead to say that provided that in such a withdrawal or death of a candidate, the political party affected, shall, within 14 days of the occurrence of the event, hold a fresh primary election to produce and submit a fresh candidate to the commission for the election concerned.

“This is the particular provision we’re following. In the case of senatorial candidates and the case of House of Representatives candidates and so on and so forth, it is mandatory for them to hold fresh primaries on the withdrawal of their candidates. But in the case of a presidential candidate or governorship candidates, the political party nominates a vice presidential candidate and deputy governorship candidate. Whether they’re candidates or not and whether they’re supposed to go in for a fresh 14-day primary, I’m not in a position to make a determination in relation to that.”

The PDP had approached  the Federal High Court, Abuja to prevent Tinubu and Peter Obi, from replacing their place-holders, Kabiru Masari and Doyin Okupe, respectively as their running mates, as earlier submitted.

While  Obi named Datti Baba-Ahmed as Okupe’s replacement, Tinubu named Kashim Shettima .

In the originating summons, with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1016/2022, the PDP is seeking an order barring INEC from replacing the running mates of Tinubu and Obi, the party said, while listing APC, Tinubu, Masari, Labour Party, Obi and Okupe as respondents.

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