The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it will shut down the candidate nomination portal for the 2023 general elections at 6:00 p.m. on June 17 for national elections and July 15 for state elections.
Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of the electoral commission, on Thursday, said this at a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, in Abuja.
Mr. Yakubu reminded political parties that all party primaries for 2023 end on Thursday (June 9), while the nomination of candidates commenced on June 10.
On the nomination process, Yakubu said, “Turning to the nomination of candidates by political parties for the 2023 general election, all primaries end on Thursday, June 9, 2022.
“For the next one week from June 10, 2022, all political parties are required to submit their list of candidates for national elections (presidential/vice-presidential, senatorial, and House of Representatives) latest by Friday, June 17, 2022.
“For state elections (governorship/deputy governorship and State Houses of Assembly), the list of candidates shall be uploaded from July 1 to 15, 2022, as already provided in the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general election already released by the commission.
“All political parties are required to upload the details of their candidates for each constituency to the INEC Candidate Nomination Portal, ICNP. To achieve this objective, four officials recommended by each of the 18 political parties were trained on the procedure for uploading the nomination forms to the dedicated web portal. Confidential Access Codes to the portal have already been given to each Political Party to facilitate the uploading of its nominations.
“For emphasis, the Commission wishes to remind Political Parties that only the names of candidates that emerged from democratic primaries as provided by Sec. 84 of the Electoral Act 2022 shall be submitted to the Commission.
“Similarly, the list of all Presidential and Governorship candidates must be accompanied by the names of their running mates (i.e. Vice Presidential and Deputy Governorship candidates) without which the nomination is invalid. All nominations must be uploaded to the portal on/or before the deadlines.
“The portal will automatically shut down at 6.00pm (1800hrs) on Friday 17th June 2022 for national elections and 6.00pm (1800hrs) on Friday 15th July 2022 for State elections. With this innovation, the Commission has eliminated the physical interface between party officials and INEC staff for the purpose of submitting the list of candidates for the 2023 General Election.
“A Nomination Centre has been set up here at the Commission’s Headquarters to receive and process all nominations by political parties, including dedicated telephone lines to serve as Help Desk for any Party that may need assistance. In our avowed commitment to openness and transparency of the process, the media will be invited to the Nomination Center so that Nigerians will see our level of preparedness for the exercise”.
He said that the portal would record the exact time and other details a political party logged into the portal to take care of situations where a political party rushes into the INEC office at the last minute, rushing to beat the deadline.