Professor Chidi Odinkalu, Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, has described the advertisement caused to be published by Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State published in two newspapers on as a breach of the Electoral Act.
Odinkalu also delivered the same verdict on a widely publicised sermon delivered by Catholic priest Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka.
Fayose’s advert, published by THE PUNCH and Daily Sun, appeared to have suggested that General Muhammadu Buhari, All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, will die in office on account of old age and frail health if voted into power.
Speaking at a roundtable organised by the NHRC on infernal speech and the forthcoming elections in Abuja on Wednesday, Odinkalu said Fayose’s advert was capable of inciting people to violence.
He described the advert as tasteless, particularly because it featured leaders from just one section of the country.
He observed that one of the former heads of state used to illustrate the Ad copy, Gen. Murtala Muhammed, was killed by coupists and not by illness, arguing that the copy was unfair to the family he left behind.
On Mbaka’s sermon, which was searingly critical of President Jonathan, branded his government as a failure and urged voters to elect Buhari, Odinkalu said the sermon ran foul of Section 95 sub section 3 (b) of the Electoral Act, which prohibits the use of the pulpit to promote partisan message.
“Father Mbaka breached the Electoral Act not once but twice. Because he is a Catholic priest does not mean he is above the law,” Odinkalu said.