Ignore INEC on campaign ban order, Agbazuere urges parties , candidates
By Steve Oko
Irked by the purported order by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission , INEC , Professor Mahmood Yakubu, banning political parties from campaigns before the rescheduled polls on February 23, a civil society group has urged political parties to ignore the ban.
The group , Global Centre for Peace and Justice , said the purported ban violated the Electoral Act.
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, professor Mahmood Yakubu , had during a press conference after the postponement of the polls, banned parties from campaigns.
But the Executive Director of the group, Dr. Anthony Agbazuere who made the call Monday at a press briefing in Umuahia, Abia State, argued that the ban was a contraction of the 2010 Electoral Act.
“The pronouncement by the INEC Chairman can only at best wear the toga of INEC guidelines and being inconsistent, and in conflict with section 99(1) of the Electoral Act, is null and void and of no effect “, he said.
Agbazuere who is a constitutional lawyer, further argued that any electoral guideline or manual by INEC which violates the Electoral Act should be of no moment.
He, therefore, called on political parties “interested in further campaigns to go ahead and do so until 24 hours before 23rd February “.
According to him the INEC boss “has goofed and cannot even prosecute anyone who violates the purported ban as no court will listen to him”.
Agbazuere also called on the INEC boss to immediately reverse himself on the order which he described as “a national embarrassement”.
He also descended on the National Broadcasting Commission for its alleged directive restraining radio and television stations from airing political jingles saying it depicts ignorance of the law “.
Quoting section 99(1) of the Electoral Act, 2010, Agbazuere said :”For the purpose of this Act, the period of campaign in public by every political party shall commence 90 days before polling day and end 24 hours prior to that day “.
He threatened to go to court and seek the resignation of the INEC boss after the polls for incompetence.
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