The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has asked broadcasting stations across the nation to desist from announcing election results after voting until the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has made a formal announcement of the results.
NBC also encouraged all broadcasters to adhere to the ethics and codes of the commission by making sure that commercials on its facilities 24 hours prior to Election Day or on Election Day are prohibited.
This was contained in a letter signed by Its Director of Broadcast Monitoring, Francisca Aiyetan.
According to the letter titled “Countdown to 2023 General Elections: A Reminder” NBC further advised broadcasters to end all partisan political programs by 11:59 pm on Thursday 23 February 2023.
“The National Broadcasting Commission wishes to underscore the enormous responsibility trust on Broadcasters at this period and therefore calls for strict adherence to the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and the Electoral Act in order to ensure a sane airwave that will enable a free, fair, credible and transparent Election.
“Consequently, the Commission enjoins broadcasters to note, for full compliance, the following sections of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.
“The Broadcaster shall ensure that the broadcast of a partisan political campaign, jingle, announcement, and any form of partisan party identification or symbol ends not later than twenty-four hours before polling day.
“In exceptional circumstances, a government functionary may perform a service relating to his office within 24 hours campaign restriction period, provided there is no coloration of partisanship by the official or the broadcaster.
“The Broadcaster shall not permit any political campaign or advertisement on its facilities 24 hours preceding polling day or on polling day.
“The Broadcaster shall not use any vote obtained at a polling station or from exit poll, to project or speculate on the chances of a candidate.
“The Broadcaster shall relay Election Results or declaration of the winner only as announced by the authorized Electoral Officer for the election.
“The Broadcaster is therefore advised by this letter to end all partisan political programs by 11:59 pm on Thursday 23rd of February 2023.”
Part four of the 2022 Electoral Act on the procedure of election states that the results of all the elections shall be announced and declared by the presiding officer at polling units, collation officer at ward centers, State Collation Centre; and National Collation Centre in the case of election of the President.
However, Section 65 of the Electoral Act has given INEC powers to invalidate any result adjudged to have been declared under duress by the Returning Officers.