The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has warned politicians and political parties against going about soliciting electoral support before the official release of election time tables describing such action as illegal.
The commission also said it had commenced work on the budget for the 2019 general elections. INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who spoke at a quarterly consultative meeting with the media at the commission’s secretariat, said: “Let me warn political parties and aspirants, we have not released the schedule of activities for the elections. Anything that anybody does is illegal before the law. They should wait for the time table of the elections.”
Section 99 of the Electoral Act 201 (as amended), states: “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. Such a person is liable, upon conviction to a maximum fine of N500, 000.’’
On the budget for the 2019 general elections, Yakubu said though the commission could not immediately place a figure on the budget, it was already working on it.
The commission also pledged its commitment to conducting a free and fair election in Anambra State, saying, ‘Elections in Anambra will be free and fair; there is no way it can be anything than free and fair. This is the irreducible minimum. This should be taken for granted on the part of the commission. For a very long time, Anambra election has not been concluded on first ballot but we are determined to conclude Anambra election on first ballot’.
Yakubu also disclosed that the commission would publish register of voters on October 18, said the commission would, however, take delivery of all printed Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, for the election on October 15.