Checkout Magazine has learned that political parties can no longer substitute the candidates they have nominated and have their names published on the final list published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
According to the commission, only dead candidates and those whose nominations are voided by the courts can be substituted.
The electoral umpire said the window for the withdrawal and substitution of candidates has closed after the publication of the final list of candidates nominated for national and state elections.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said that Commission will not be distracted by belated requests for substitution of candidates.
He said: “The period for the withdrawal and substitution of candidates has elapsed and the Commission has published the final list of candidates standing nominated for national and state elections.
“At this point, a candidate can only get on the list if the duly and validly nominated candidate dies. Any form of withdrawal on grounds of voluntary withdrawal or incapacitation can no longer take place.”
It added that only the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP) had approached it to replace Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau who defected to the Peoples Democratic Party PDP.
But INEC rejected the NNPP request because it was made after the window for substitution had elapsed.