The Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM), a civil society organization, has urged INEC to penalize the governorship candidate of the PDP in Lagos, Mr. Olajide Adediran, his deputy Ms. Funke Akindele, and House of Reps candidate, Mr. Bankole Wellington, over an alleged breach of campaign guidelines.
The appeal was contained in a petition sent to the electoral body this week. CPPM accused the candidates of a blatant disregard of not only section 94 (1) of the Electoral Act which regulates the election campaigns, but also the publicly published INEC guidelines on the 2023 elections by staging public political campaigns before the fixed date.
Section 94 (1) of the 2022 Electoral Act states, “For the purpose of this Act, the period of campaigning in public by every political party shall commence 150 days before polling day and end 24 hours prior to that day”.
Additionally, the 2023 Election Guidelines published by INEC slated Gubernatorial and States House of Assembly elections campaigns for October 12, 2022 – March 9, 2023.
As a result, CPPM claimed in its petition that Mr. Olajide Adediran, Ms. Funke Akindele, and Mr. Bankole Wellington, held the regulation in contempt with the repeated public campaigns, evidence of which it attached to the petition. The CSO urged INEC to ensure the party must be made to face the full weight of the law for besmirching the country’s democracy.
The petition, signed by the Executive Chairman CPPM, Mr. Nelson Ekujumi, said that failure to punish the defaulting candidates will encourage other candidates to carry out the same action, thus diminishing the regulations and INEC’s role as umpire.
Mr. Olajide Adediran’s emergence as the PDP candidate for the Lagos governorship election has been regarded by some as a mark of the party’s great decline in the state, given his relative green status as a politician and observed failure to excite the electorates. The petition may further complicate his run in addition to posing a real threat of disqualification.