The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has debunked a media report that it published another final list of candidates for the 2023 general election, saying “no final list of candidates for the 2023 general election was released by the commission on Sunday 8th January 2023.”
This is contrary to reports widespread on Monday.
National Commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, who disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Monday, said there cannot be a final list of candidates with just 46 days to the General Election except for names published as substitutions for candidates nominated earlier in compliance with court orders.
Consequently, he said some of the candidates that allegedly made the purported new “final list” were still in Court and the matter is, therefore, subjudice.
Okoye recalled that the final list of candidates for the 2023 General Election was published at least 150 days before the day of the election in compliance with the provision of Section 32(1) of the Electoral Act 2022.
Accordingly, he said the final list for Presidential and National Assembly elections was published on September 20, 2022 while that of Governorship and State Assembly elections was published two weeks later on October 4, 2022.
He said these were clearly indicated as Item 8 on the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 general election released by the Commission on February 26, 2022.
The statement reads in part: “The attention of the Commission has been drawn to reports widely circulated by a section of the media today, Monday 9th January 2023, that the final list of candidates was released on our website on Sunday 8th January 2023.
“There cannot be a final list of candidates with just 46 days to the General Election except for names published as substitutions for candidates nominated earlier in compliance with Court Order. Moreover, some of the candidates that allegedly made the new “final” list are still in Court and the matter is therefore subjudice.
“Political parties, litigants, and the public should be guided accordingly.”
Okoye reiterated that no new publication of the final list of candidates was released as reported by the newspaper.
He, therefore, added that the public should discountenance the said news report.