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Elections shift: Lawyers divided over INEC suspension of campaigns

Lawyers on Sunday were divided in their opinions over the directive to political parties by the Independent National Electoral (INEC) suspending their rallies and campaigns when the commission had shifted the commencement of voting at the general election by one week.

For instance, some senior lawyers who spoke exclusively to The Daily Times on Sunday disagreed over INEC breach of the Electoral Act. First to fire the shot is the human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, who said: “INEC which has shifted the general election by 7 days is alleged to have turned round to ban political parties and their candidates from further campaigning for votes.

“With respect, INEC has not paid attention to Section 99 of the Electoral Act which provides that the period of campaigning in public by political parties shall end 24 hours before polling day. Since elections have been shifted, the period of campaign has also shifted and will end 24 hours to the new polling day.

“Therefore, the limitation of campaign imposed by INEC should be reversed without any delay. Furthermore, INEC should comply with all valid and subsisting court orders with respect to the candidates sponsored by political parties for the general elections.

Daily Times, Monday 18, February.

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