The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has issued a stern warning to political parties and their candidates.
INEC warned that political parties and candidates that contradict the provisions of the 2022 electoral act will be punished accordingly.
The electoral umpire stated that such offenders not only risk paying a fine, but may also be jailed.
The position of INEC was made known on Monday by the commission’s national commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye in Lagos during the two-day media capacity-building workshop on the commission’s progresses, innovations, preparations for the 2023 general elections and critical issues in the Electoral Act 2022.
He added that according to Section 42 of the Electoral act, a mistake in the logo of a political party will not invalidate any election, as all political parties would be given the opportunity to inspect the political parties’ logo before elections.
In the words of Okoye, “A political party, aspirant or candidate that contravenes any of the provisions of section (92) of the Act commits an offence and is liable on conviction in the case of an aspirant or candidate, to a maximum fine of N 1,000,000 or imprisonment for a term of 12 months; and in the case of a political party, to a fine of N2,000,000 in the first instance, and N 1,000,000 for any subsequent offence.
“A person or group of persons who aids or abets a political party, an aspirant or a candidate in contravening the provisions of section 92(5) relating to the employment of violence, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N500,000 or imprisonment for a term of three years or both.
“Section 93 of the Act also prohibits the use of force violence during campaigns and prescribes still penalties for candidates, aspirants, or persons or group of persons that use force or compel the use of force during political campaigns.”