INEC threatens to sanction Jonathan, Atiku, others over early campaigns

INEC chairman, Atahiru Jega.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has again warned political parties, aspirants and organisations to desist from embarking on early campaign in violation of the nation’s electoral law.

In a statement by its Secretary, Augusta Ogakwu, the Commission said, “Henceforth, (INEC) would take necessary action against such associations, corporate bodies, individuals, political parties, media or such communication agencies, social media, candidates or aspirants who contravene the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (As amended) and/or Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) on public campaign/rally and procession.”

Section 99 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended) says, “For the purpose of this Act, the period of campaigning in public by every political party shall commence 90 days before polling day and end 24 hours prior to that day.”

INEC had in the past repeatedly warned the politicians via similar statements and at different fora not to engage in campaigns in contravention of the electoral laws.

In one of the statements, the Commission threatened to prosecute any politician found violating the laws.

In the latest statement dated September 26 and titled “Caution On Illegal Public Political Broadcast And Campaign,” the Commission said its attention had been drawn to the insistent illegal campaigns carried out by associations, corporate entities, individuals, public and private media and other communication agencies in Nigeria, which were in contravention of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) on limitation of political broadcasts.

The statement, which was addressed to all national chairmen of registered political parties, corporate entities, associations and the general public, reminded that Section 99 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) prohibited broadcast and political campaign earlier than 90 days before polling day.

It added, “Relevant extracts of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) have since been reproduced and circulated by the commission at public places, to media outfits, the Ministry of Information, National Orientation Agency, NOA, National Communication Commission, NCC, Head-quarters of Inter-party Advisory Council, IPAC, Headquarters of State, FCT, Local Government Area offices of INEC and the Federal Ministry of Environment for their information and proper guidance.”

Nigerian politicians on different platforms and their supporters have however violated the electoral law by not only organising rallies, but also mounting bill boards and pasting posters at strategic locations.

In the last two years various groups have emerged either urging President Goodluck Jonathan to contest the 2015 presidential election or announcing his readiness to do so.

Mr. Jonathan’s party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has been organising what it described as “unity” rallies across the six geo-political zones during which it receives defectors from other parties.

Similarly, a group, Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria, TAN, is also organising rallies in the zones urging the president to run while several groups under the aegis of Goodluck Support Group, GSG, held a grand rally at Eagle Square three weeks ago.

Nigeria’s main opposition party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, is not left out as it also held similar events to receive defectors.

Only last week, a former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, announced his plan to contest the presidency on APC platform at a ceremony attended by his supporters drawn from across the country.

And on Tuesday, a former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, hosted about 60 of his support groups in Abuja during which he indicated his wish to contest the presidential election for the fourth time.

On its part, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, recently organised a rally in Awka, the Anambra State capital, where it adopted Mr. Jonathan as its candidate for the 2015 presidential election.


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  • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

    INEC has shown itself to be anything, but a joke and unbiased umpire!

    With all the PDP rallies across the country, the daily brainwashing on NTA and the TAN rent-a-crowd jamborees all over the country – the only noise we heard from INEC was akin to a fond father enjoying the antics of a wayward child!

    Now other parties, having taken their lead from this benevolent posturing towards the PDP antics, have started along the same road – also aiming for the same destination as PDP!!

    Suddenly, the hitherto “benevolent” father, INEC, has turned bellicose!!!

    Does Prof. Jega’s INEC expect to be taken too seriously with this two-faced, Animal Farm approach towards regulating the political playground?

    Nigerians desiring change, must not, and cannot, rely on Jega’s INEC – going by its present trajectory – to deliver a level playing field. We must guard our suffrage.

    • TRUTH MASTER

      INEC cannot be trusted as an unbiased umpire, hence Nigerians must be vigilant from now till the 2015 general elections

  • Emeka

    Nonsense. Since that nonsense and appalling TAN has been going around with their odious noise making and campaign, where was INEC? If they can’t at least make a comment on that, INEC has lost the right to comment or chastise any other political party.
    In other news, TAN adverts and campaign has motivated me to vote anything but PDP. I hate that trash campaign. It’s offensive to our intelligence.

  • IT IS NOW THAT OTHER PARTIES WANT TO SENSITISE PEOPLE THAT INEC HAS SUDDENLY REALISED THERE IS A CLAUSE BANNING RALLIES.
    USELESS AND COMPROMSED INEC.
    THE MAIN OBSTACLES TO DECENT SOCIETY IN THIS COUNTRY ARE : INEC, SSS, POLICE AND THE MILITARY. THESE ARE THE INSTITUTIONS THAT THE PRESENT GOVERNMENT HAS USED TO SUPRESS THE CITIZENS AND TO RIG, SUSTAIN THEMSELVES IN POWER..
    GOODLUCK JONATHAN CAN NEVER WIN A FREE AND FAIR ELECTION IN NIGERIA.

  • AHMED SARKI

    Jega make you stop jonathan or you take him to court becouse since he was oredy start his campaing in the nation.

  • sir Oscie

    Sanction GEJ because of the TAN campaign. As for Atiku he has done nothing wrong other than declaring his intentions to contest but TAN and the other groups has done very thing wrong travel from state to state campaigning for the pdp and President Jonathan which is against the INEC laws.
    Jega do something oh!!!

  • Mr. Abdin

    But GEJ has been sponsoring TAN for a long and INEC did not make a single statement, is ti because the likes of Atiku have declared that is why it is threatening sanctions we hope that INEC will be unbiased in its operations.