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HomePoliticsSome politicians may face prosecutions for participating in two primaries~INEC

Some politicians may face prosecutions for participating in two primaries~INEC

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The National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Akwa Ibom, Mike Iginni on Tuesday said that politicians who pick two nomination forms risk two years of imprisonment under the new Electoral Act.

Iginni, who spoke on a Channels TV programme said that it is an offence under the Electoral Act 2022 for politicians to obtain multiple nomination forms during the same election cycle.

Quoting the provisions of the Act which forbid persons seeking to contest primary election on the platform of their political party, the REC said any person who procures two nomination forms with the intent to contest election into two constituencies at the same time is culpable of committing an offence under the law.

He said according to Section 115 (D) of the Act, a person who signs a nomination paper or result form as a candidate in more than one constituency at the same election commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a maximum term of imprisonment for two years.

Clarifying the provisions of the law, the Akwa Ibom REC said “constituency” as stipulated in the legal document refers to separate elections whether it is presidential, governorship, senatorial, the House of Representatives, or that of the state assembly.

“Section 115 (D) of the 2022 electoral act stipulates that no person shall sign, obtain more than one form as a candidate for different elections,” Iginni stressed.

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“And the offence for that under subsection K, beyond the financial, he will go two years’ imprisonment. Some people are claiming that they participated in one election, that they filled two forms; it’s ignorance of the law and it’s not an excuse.”

The electoral umpire is only making efforts to prevent politicians in such category from becoming “candidates for prison and they are calling our names everywhere.”

“There are many candidates that have done this. INEC can only point you in that direction; that’s what we can do,” he added.

“People walk their way to prison when they say that they bought two forms; Section 115 (D) prohibits that. In fact, subsection 3 of 115 says that even that attempt itself will be treated as the offence.”

There are cases of politicians who bought forms for the presidential primaries of their political parties and only to turn around and claimed to have bought forms for the senatorial election at the same time.

The governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed had participated at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential primary and after failing to clinch the ticket reverted to contest the governorship primary.

Also, the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan and former minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio participated in the presidential primary of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) but failed to clinch the ticket.

The two politicians are already struggling to pick the ticket of their political party for their senatorial districts.

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