The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has distanced itself from a purported final list of candidates for the 2023 general elections, purpotedly released on Sunday.
The commission in a statement by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye in Abuja on Monday, said INEC did not release any list on Sunday.
“The attention of the commission has been drawn to reports widely circulated by a section of the media today, Monday Jan. 9, that the final list of candidates was released on our website on Sunday Jan. 8.
“The commission wishes to state categorically that no new publication of the final list of candidates was released as reported. The public should therefore discountenance the story.’’
Okoye said that for the record, the final list of candidates for the 2023 general elections was published at least, 150 days before the day of election in compliance with the provision of Sec. 32(1) of the Electoral Act 2022.
“Accordingly, the final list for presidential and national assembly elections was published on Sept. 20, 2022 while that of governorship and state assembly elections was published two weeks later on Oct. 4, 2022.
“These are clearly indicated as item eight on the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Elections released by the commission on Feb. 26, 2022.’’
Okoye said there could not be a final list of candidates with just 46 days to the general elections, 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 said.