The Independent National Electoral Commission, while speaking ahead of the governorship election in Kogi and Bayelsa State noted that some candidates were not validly nominated by their political parties.
The Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye stated this while speaking on Thursday during a “Youth Campus” sensitization programme organised by the Commission at the Niger-Delta University, Amassoma, Bayelsa State.
Okoye was reacting to claims by some candidates that they were disqualified by the electoral body.
He blamed the political parties for presenting candidates that did not meet the minimum requirements as spelt out by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
“No qualified candidate was disqualified, so, since some of the political parties did not submit valid nominations, the commission decided not to put them on ballot.”
“In this process, the political parties cannot ask for a substitution of candidates as their nominations are invalid in the first place.”
“It is expected that any political party that wants to sponsor candidates for elections must know the provisions of the Constitution.”
“For you to submit candidates, you must know the basics according to Section 172 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.”
“So, it is on the basis of the provisions of the Constitution that some political parties presented candidates that did not meet the minimum threshold for contesting for the election.”
“We say that their nominations were invalid and because of the invalidity of their nominations, we say that they will not be on the ballot.”
“I must tell you that the commission did not disqualify any candidate and any candidate that submitted invalid nomination, it is deemed that no nomination was submitted.”
“And so if you did not submit any valid nomination, you cannot ask for substitution because you cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand,” he said.