Litigation, Insights

Legality of Placeholder Arrangement in the Nigerian Electoral Process

The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (the 1999 Constitution) and the Electoral Act, 2022 place premium on the power of political parties to hold, conduct, administrate and coordinate their primaries (either through election or consensus). This is a necessary procedure for submission of nominated names to the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) as candidates contesting in a general election. This is the hallmark of democracy.

In our present electoral process, discussions are rife as to the several challenges faced by political parties and candidates alike in respect of substitution of nominated candidates (“candidates”) whose names have been submitted to INEC. There are growing concerns on the rectitude of submitting names of running mates as placeholders alongside Presidential candidates and some other similar arrangements.

This is evident in scenarios that played out in the followings:
a. The intentions of All Progressive Congress (“APC”) to substitute the Senatorial candidate of Bashir Machina with Ahmad Lawan in Yobe North Senatorial District and that of DIG Ekpoudom with Godswill Akpabio in Akwa Ibom North West (Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District)…

 

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