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Human rights lawyer faults INEC’s decision to stop campaign

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A human rights lawyer, Kayode Ajulo, on Monday, faulted the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, over the ban on campaign.

NAN reports that the two leading parties, All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Saturday argued that the commission’s restriction has no basis in law.

Mr Ajulo in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Ilorin, that the chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, could not by mere pronouncement amend the provisions of Section 99 of the Electoral Act.

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According to Mr Ajulo, Section 99 of the electoral act allows political campaign till 24 hours to election.

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He said he would continue to campaign for the candidate of his choice in accordance with the law of the land.

Mr Ajulo said INEC’s directive should be ignored, adding that he would be having a solo road show for his candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari to activate the above statutory provision and test the efficacy of the illegal ban.

According to him, as it is now, many people have been canvassing and mentioning section 100 of the electoral act which says INEC can make any rule.

“There is one thing about rule of specific and all those provisions they mentioning did not specify.

“One thing we should understand is that if that section 100 had section 99 in mind, it would have say notwithstanding section 99, it would have been specific,” he said.

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He said that those backing INEC on the no campaign issue also gave credence to section 160 of the constitution, regarding the power of INEC to stop campaign 24 hours to the election.

The lawyer who also double as the secretary of Forward With Buhari (FWB) said that such power in section 160 of the constitution would not help INEC to make such order.

According to him, what that section is talking about is political parties and candidates, I am not a political party and I am not a candidate

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“All those laws they are saying is addressed to political parties and their candidates, this order did not stop any independent campaign organisation to go on campaign.

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Ajulo stated that anything INEC said to that effect would not affect his campaigning for his candidate and would embark on a road show to canvass vote for President Buhari.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that INEC had, in the early hours of February 16, postponed the presidential and National Assembly elections to Feb. 23 and also banned political parties from campaigning.

Meanwhile, NAN reports that following the opposition of the APC and PDP, INEC is due meet to review the restriction.

INEC, according to its national chairman’s spokesman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, would meet to review its position and decide whether or not to reopen campaigns.

NAN

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