All political parties can no longer substitute candidates they have nominated and have their names published on the final list by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The commission said only dead candidates and those whose nomination are voided by the courts can be substituted.
According to INEC, 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.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had said it will not contest the rescheduled Enugu East Senatorial election because of the disagreement with its candidate Senator Chimaroke Nnamani.
But INEC through its National Commissioner and Chairman Information and voters education Committee Festus Okoye clarified that parties can no longer substitute candidates already cleared and names published by the commission for the elections.
Sen Nnamani is therefore cleared to contest the Saturday’s election for Enugu Senatorial district unhindered .
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee added that INEC will not be distracted with 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 in time, a candidate can only get off 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.
“Yes, the Commission is aware of some pending litigations. At the end of the day, the Commission will comply with valid court orders based on constitutional dictates. We urge political parties to focus on their campaigns and rallies as the next big thing in the electoral process.
“The Commission is also focussed at making sure that voters are equitably distributed to the various polling units.
“The Commission will not be distracted with belated requests for withdrawals and substitution of candidates. All the registered political parties have a copy of the Timetable and Schedule of Activities”.
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