The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) rejected the idea of a “placeholder” vice-presidential candidate on Monday, saying that such candidates are not permitted under Nigeria’s constitution.
The deadline for the nomination of vice presidential candidates had been established by INEC for June 17 after the conclusion of the presidential primary process.
Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress and Peter Obi of the Labour Party, among others, submitted names of vice-presidential candidates they referred to as “placeholders or dummies” as some political parties continued to look for the proper VP candidate and raced to beat the deadline set by INEC for submission of names.
Barrister Festus Okoye, the INEC commissioner for voters’ education and information, rejected the idea of vice-presidential candidates serving as “placeholders” on Monday, claiming that the Independent National Electoral Commission’s constitution forbids such a practice.
He said, “placeholder is a unique Nigerian invention” for which the commission’s law has no provision.
He contends that the constitution makes it quite plain that a presidential contender must designate an associate to run beside him or her in the presidential election. According to INEC, the presidential candidates have already submitted their associates to run alongside them.
“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 placeholder,” he said