As the general elections that would take place in February next year draw closer, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has commenced the screening of candidates for various elective offices whose names have been submitted to it by various party leaders.
According to the INEC guidelines obtained from its official website yesterday, both the presidential and governorship screenings would commence at the commission’s headquarters on January 16 to 18 respectively.
President Jonathan will be screened as PDP Presidential candidate, while General Muhammadu Buhari will be screened as APC Presidential candidate.
The screening which is part of the commission’s guidelines for the February polls would be the climax of the preparation for elections as political parties have only 46 days from today.
Meanwhile, INEC is also expected to set-up a mobile committee unit that would screen both candidates for Senatorial and House of Representatives alongside short listed candidates for State Houses of Assembly members from January 4th to 14th.
The screening of all assembly members would be conducted in their respective states while the screening and credential committee is expected to extensively peruse all credentials that qualify the candidates for the elective posts they are vying for.
A penalty of not less than N500, 000 would be charged against any fraudulent party that contravenes the law by allowing an ineligible candidate’s name to the commission.
It would be recalled that INEC had already received all names alongside credentials for various parties’ Presidential, governorship and legislative houses candidates that would participate in the fourth coming general elections.
However, it is worth noting that only 10 amongst the registered political parties have presented candidates for presidential election in the February polls.
INEC, it was gathered, would be using the amended 1999 constitution and the Electoral Act (2010 as amended) as their guide for the screening and verification of the documentations presented by the various candidates of the political parties.