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Tinubu, Peter Obi Can Only Substitute Running Mate If… INEC

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Mr Festus Okoye, National Commissioner, Voters Registration, Education and Publicity, Independent National Electoral Commission, Mr Festus Okoye, has said the submitted names of vice-presidential candidates cannot be retrieved or substituted by the political parties.

He noted that the nominated candidates themselves, who had accepted to be running mates to the presidential candidates, would stand for election come 2023, except they choose not to do so.

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According to him, no one can force any of them to give up their seats for another candidate as the concept of ‘placeholders’ is alien to the electoral system.

The presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, had submitted the name of Ibrahim Kabiru Masari, as his running mate, stating that Masari would be replaced with a substantive candidate when a proper decision was reached before the window given by INEC closes.

This was the same for the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, who chose his campaign Director-General, Dr Doyin Okupe, as his running mate for now.

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Okupe, in an interview, said he was standing in for the substantive candidate who would be made known to the public in due time.

Reacting, Okoye, in an interview with Channels TV on Friday, said a vice presidential candidate could only be replaced if he died or chose to withdraw from the race.

“In the forms submitted by the political parties, relating to their presidential and vice-presidential candidates, what we have in those forms are the name of presidential and VP candidates; their particulars and their affidavits.

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READ ALSO: INEC To Tinubu, Peter Obi: You Can’t Replace Your Running Mate

“None of those political parties indicated that they were submitting a document in lieu of or that they were submitting a name of a candidate in lieu. All the political candidates said they were submitting the list of their candidates and running mates. The issue of submitting a name in lieu of or as placeholders does not even arise.

“As far as the law and constitution is concerned, we have made it mandatory that the moment a presidential candidate emerges, such candidate must nominate an associate who shall run with him/her as a vice-presidential candidate. Both are seen as Siamese twins who will move and fall together. In the forms submitted by the political parties, forms related to the vice-presidential presidential were submitted.”

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JUST IN: Court Strikes Out Suit Seeking To Void Ademola Adeleke’s Nomination For Osun Guber Election

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Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has struck out a suit seeking nullification of submission of the name of Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the last July 26 election.

The judge on Thursday struck down the suit on the ground that the plaintiff lacked locus standi to institute the case.

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The plaintiff in the suit, Awoyemi Oluwatayo Lukman, had dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the PDP and Adeleke before the court seeking order to void and set aside the submission of Adeleke’s name to INEC on grounds of alleged unlawful action.

The grouse of the plaintiff was that Adeleke’s name was hurriedly submitted by PDP on March 11 as against between March 14 to 18 as contained in the INEC guidelines.

Adeleke’s name having not been submitted within the period fixed by INEC, the plaintiff asked the court to declare the submission, illegal, unlawful, null, and void and be set aside.

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He claimed that INEC must be bound by its official guidelines and that anything done outside the guidelines is against the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.

READ ALSO: Osun Govt, Adeleke Trade Words Over Alleged Looting

However, in his judgment, Justice Obiora Egwuatu struck out the suit on the ground that the said Awoyemi Oluwatayo Lukman lacked locus standi to have instituted the case.

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The Judge held also that the suit was statute barred having been fixed outside the 14 days stipulated by Section 285 of the 1999 Constitution that all pre-election suits must be filed within 14 days whereas, the instant suit was filed after 28 days.

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FLASHBACK: How Tinubu Named Obasanjo ‘Greatest Election Rigger’ In Nigeria

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential flagbearer for the 2023 general elections, Bola Tinubu, had on February 9, 2019, called the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo “the greatest election rigger” in the country.

The former Lagos State governor made the claim while accusing Obasanjo of rigging the 2007 presidential election which brought Late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua into power as Nigerian president.

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Asiwaju, who made the assertion during a presidential rally of the ruling party at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos State, alleged that Yar’Adua admitted being rigged into office before he died.

He said: “When he was asked, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua admitted that the election which brought him into office was rigged.

“Who conducted that election? Obasanjo. Obasanjo is the greatest election rigger in this country.”

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Meanwhile, the APC national leader on Wednesday visited the ex-president over his 2023 presidential ambition.

READ ALSO: Details Of Tinubu’s Meeting With Obasanjo Emerge

Tinubu, who is seeking the support of Obasanjo to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari come 2023, met the former president behind closed-doors at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, Ogun State.

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In a tweet after the meeting, Tinubu expressed gratitude to Obasanjo and the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun for the fantastic welcome accorded him during the visit.

He wrote: “My gratitude to former President Obasanjo, Governor Dapo Abiodun and the great people of Ogun State for the fantastic welcome. Thank you.”

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Tinubu Mocked For Visiting Obasanjo After Criticising Ex-President

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The All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu has been mocked for visiting former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Tinubu met with Obasanjo at his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State on Wednesday.

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The meeting between the Southwest political leaders was believed to be a consultation.

Reacting, Deji Adeyanju, an Abuja-based rights activist, said Tinubu’s visit to Obasanjo indicated that politics is something else.

Adeyanju recalled how the APC presidential candidate once called Obasanjo an election rigger.

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He recalled how Tinubu asked Nigerians not to take Obasanjo seriously for criticizing President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.

In a tweet, Adeyanju urged Nigerians against fighting themselves over politicians.

According to Adeyanju: “Tinubu who called Obasanjo an election rigger who should not be taken seriously when he criticized Buhari in 2019 today has spent hours with Obj consulting. Politics is something else.

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READ ALSO: Details Of Tinubu’s Meeting With Obasanjo Emerge

“Don’t fight each other over politicians. They are not worth it. I know them very well.

“They are all extremely close friends and business associates. Go and hustle so you can tell them to their faces to Getat! There’s nothing they hate more than that.”

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