Full List: Buhari, 3 Other Nigerian Leaders Who Violated Electoral Act by Exposing Who They Voted For

Full List: Buhari, 3 Other Nigerian Leaders Who Violated Electoral Act by Exposing Who They Voted For

On Saturday, February 25, some notable Nigerian leaders violated the provisions of the Electoral Act as amended in 2022.

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The leaders, including President Muhammadu Buhari, showed the world their ballot papers after making their choice at the 2023 presidential elections, which took place across various parts of Nigeria.

Muhammadu Buhari, Samuel Ortom, Ahmad Lawan, Orji Kalu, PDP, APC, Electoral violation
Nigerian leaders who violated Section 122 of the Electoral Act as amended. Photo: Orji Kalu, Garba SHehu, Ahmad Lawan
Source: Twitter

Describing the actions of the president and some of the leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as criminal, a human rights and development lawyer, Frank Tietie, said the politicians violated Section 122 of the Electoral Act.

Tietie said:

"It is criminal, it is out rightly criminal for anybody whatsoever to display the content of his ballot paper to the extent of showing who his preferred candidate or choice of candidate is.

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"It is not only against the provision of the Electoral Act, it is outrightly against the guidelines of elections in the country.
"Now expressly, Section 122 of the Electoral Act requires that all voting must be secret particularly, no person shall communicate at any time, to any other person, any information regarding the candidate that he voted for."

Tietie also said that in line with the law, anyone who commits such an offence faces a fine of N100,000 or three months imprisonment or both.

His words:

"Anybody who does that on conviction has committed an offence and is liable to the condition of a fine of N100,000 or imprisonment for three months."

Section 122 (1)(2) of the Electoral Act says:

"Every person in attendance at a polling unit including every officer charged with the conduct of an election and his or her assistants and every polling agent and candidate in attendance at a polling station or at the collation centre, as the case may be, shall maintain and aid in maintaining the secrecy of the voting.

"No person in attendance at a polling booth under this section shall, except for some purpose authorised by law, communicate to any person information as to the name or number on the register of any voter who has or has not voted at the place of voting."

Some Nigerian leaders who violated Section 122 of the Electoral Act as amended:

1. President Muhammadu Buhari

President Buhari, a few seconds after casting his vote at the 2023 presidential and National Assembly election in his hometown in Daura, Katsina state, exposed his ballot paper to the public.

Muhammadu Buhari, 2023 election, ballot paper, Electoral Act
Buhari pictured exposing the content of his ballot paper to people in Daura, Katsina state. Photo: Garba Shehu
Source: Twitter

Speaking on the violation of the Electoral Act by the president, Tietie said:

"So, the president did that but somehow, the president is above prosecution while he is still in office and cannot be sanctioned.
"But any other person who does that whether it is the Attorney General of the Federation or a minister of the government. whoever does that should be prepared to face some form of prosecution because those are outright violations of the law."

2. Senate President Ahmad Lawan

In a similar move, the Senate president, Ahmad Lawan, also towed the path of President Buhari to showcase his ballot paper after he had voted.

Lawan, a lawmaker currently representing Youth North Senatorial District, shared photos of himself holding his ballot paper and showing it to the world via a post on his social media handle.

Ahmad Lawan, Electoral Act, Yobe North
Ahmad Lawan was pictured violating the Electoral Act. Photo: Ahmad Lawan
Source: Twitter

On Twitter, he wrote:

"Earlier this morning, I joined other well meaning Nigerians at my polling unit in my home town of Gashua, Yobe State to cast my vote in the Presidential and National Assembly election taking place across the country."

3. Senator representing Abia North Senatorial District Orji Uzor Kalu

Also, a former governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu, in a move to probably sway voters exposed his used ballot paper, thereby violating the requirement of secrecy as mandated by the Electoral Act.

Orji Uzor Kalu, 2023 presidential election, Electoral Act
Orji Uzor Kalu shows his ballot paper to the world. Photo: @OUKtweets
Source: UGC

Like Senate President Lawan, the Chief Whip of the Red Chamber, tweeted his violation of the Electoral Act.

His tweet said:

"This is my modest effort to discountenance the Void Vote Scandal trending online against me. I voted APC @OfficialAPCNg and I am proud of my choice.
"Beware of Fake News! Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, Chief Whip of the Senate."

4. Governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom

After voting, the governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom, also fell short of the provisions of the Electoral Act.

Like the three other leaders, Ortom also exposed his ballot paper seconds after he cast his vote in Benue state.

Samuel Ortom, Benue state, 2023 presidential election, Electoral Act, Violation
Ortom, in contravention of Section 122 of the Electoral Act, exposed his ballot paper after casting his vote at the 2023 presidential election. Photo: Sahara Reporters
Source: Twitter

Finally, INEC explains slow collation of presidential election on iREV portal

Meanwhile, with growing anger among Nigerians over the slow uploading of the 2023 presidential election results on the Independent National Electoral Commission’s results portal, the electoral umpire has said it experienced some technical glitches.

The INEC’s information and voter education commissioner, Festus Okoye, said the commission is aware of the challenges with the commission’s results viewing portal.

Okoye, in a statement released on Sunday, February 26, and received by Legit.ng said that, unlike the off-season elections, the portal has been relatively slow and unsteady.

He said that the commission regrets any setback this may have caused, mainly because of the importance of IReV in the election results management process.

Full list: 4 levels of collation for 2023 Presidential Election as Announced by INEC

On Saturday, February 25, Nigerians went to the poll to elect who would be succeeding Muhammadu Buhari as president and lawmakers who would also be representing them in their various constituencies.

With the presidential and National Assembly election almost ending, Nigerians have expressed concerns over the slow collation of results, especially for the nation's number one seat of power contest.

However, in defence of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the commission's chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, has explained the result collation process.

Source: Legit.ng

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