The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the presence of some governors from Niger Republic ahead of President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign rally in Kano state did not violate any Nigerian law.
INEC said this while reacting to comments trailing the visit.
Two governors from the country — Issa Moussa of Zinder and Zakiri Umar of Maradi — were part of those who received the president in Kano.
The visit had triggered criticisms from Nigerians who alleged foreign interference in the electoral process.
Uche Secundus, national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asked INEC fo disqualify Buhari from the presidential election over the development.
“They came with monies and mercenaries to influence elections in Nigeria,” Secondus alleged on Thursday.
But in an interview, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, INEC director of Voter Education and Publicity, said the governors’ presence in Kano does not violate the law “as far as I am aware”.
He said the law only prohibits foreigners’ direct involvement in the electoral process. “They are not allowed to participate as either candidates or voters,” Osaze-Uzzi said on Saturday.
“But they can only observe the process. As far as I am concerned, their presence does not violate the constitution.” He also said the commission has no powers to disqualify the president, adding that only the courts can.
“INEC has no power to disqualify any candidate,” he said in response to the PDP’s request.