Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has published the forms and particulars of political parties’ candidates submitted for next year’s polls.
The electoral body on Friday said 79 political parties have submitted the names of their candidates to contest the presidential election.
Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the announcement while addressing journalists in Abuja. He stated that aside the 79 presidential candidates, 89 parties fielded 1,803 candidates for the 109 senatorial seats and 4,548 for the 350 federal constituencies.
The particulars of the presidential candidates have been posted at the INEC headquarters.
On the list are President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
Others include: Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and running mate Peter Obi; Obadiah Mailafia, presidential candidate of African Democratic Congress, ADC, and Tanimowo Nasiru, his running mate.
Also on the list is Donald Duke for the Social Democratic Party, SDP, and Junaid Mohammad, his running mate.
Oby Ezekwesili, presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN, equally made the list.
The national electoral body however stated that there is room for legal action if anyone is in doubt of claims by candidates in the 2019 elections.
Speaking specifically about the personal particulars provided by the candidates, Yakubu said anyone suspecting false claims has the right to file legal action against such candidate in court.
President Muhammadu Buhari had told the commission that his academic records are still with the military, thus generating reactions particularly from critics of the government.
Addressing a press conference at the commission headquarters on Friday, Mahmood said any doubt on the forms submitted by the candidates regarding their personal particulars can be challenged in court.
His words, “Any person with reasonable ground to believe that any information on form CF001 submitted by a candidate contains incorrect or false claims is at liberty to file an action against such candidate at the federal high court or the high court of a state or FCT.
“While the current exercise is limited to candidates for presidential and national assembly elections, the personal particulars of those contesting in governorship and state assemblies elections will be published on November 9, 2018, one week after the close of submission of nominations by political parties.”
The INEC chairman maintained that while the commission is making the particulars of the candidates known, the public is to seize the opportunity to view the personal details of the candidates that seek to represent them.
“This is an opportunity for citizens to ascertain the personal details of the candidates to enable them take informed decisions on election day or even initiate legal action against candidates who they believe have made false claims on their forms,” he said.