The highly anticipated presidential election campaign kicks off officially on Wednesday, 28th September 2022, to offer Nigerians the opportunity to assess the candidates.
While there are 18 political parties fielding candidates for the presidential election, four are considered the main contenders.
They are Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party, Peter Obi of the Labour Party, Bola Tinubu of the All Progressive Candidate, and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party.
Nigerians anticipate that the candidates will present their manifestoes and explain why they should earn their votes during the forthcoming election.
However, the Electoral Act of 2022 has provided guidance on how the campaign must be conducted, as well as lines that candidates and parties must not cross. The Electoral Act clearly states the dos and don’ts from expenditure to the language of the campaign.
Election Campaign Expenditure
According to Section 88 (2), election expenses shall not exceed the sum of N5,000,000,000. Subsection 8 forbids an individual or an entity from donating more than N50,000,000 to a candidate.
As contained in sub-sections 9 to 11 of section 88, any candidate found contravening the section, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of 1% of the amount permitted as the limit of campaign expenditure or imprisonment for a term not more than 12 months or both.
While any individual who contravenes the financial limitation is liable on conviction to a maximum fine of N500,000 or imprisonment for a term of nine months or both.
Also, an accountant who falsifies conspires, or aids a candidate to forge or falsify a document relating to his expenditure or receipt or donation for the election or in any way aids and abets the contravention of the provisions commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N3,000,000 or imprisonment for a term of three years or both.
No Offensive Language
While the police have been forbidden by the Act from preventing candidates and their political parties from holding rallies, it warned in 92.(1) against a political campaign or slogan being tainted with abusive language directly or indirectly likely to injure religious, ethnic, tribal, or sectional feelings.
Also, no campaign shall be abusive, intemperate, or slanderous likely to provoke a violent reaction.
Political parties have also been warned against turning religious centres, police stations, and public offices to political campaigns, rallies, and processions.
No party shall promote, propagate or attack political parties, candidates or their programmes or ideologies.
Source: The Whistler
Written By: Isuma Mark