The Independent National Electoral Commission is exploring ways to enforce the law on funding of elections by candidates and the political parties. To this end, INEC is seeking a collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to monitor the sources of funding of political parties’ campaigns during the 2019 general elections. The Chairman
The Independent National Electoral Commission is exploring ways to enforce the law on funding of elections by candidates and the political parties.
To this end, INEC is seeking a collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to monitor the sources of funding of political parties’ campaigns during the 2019 general elections.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made this known when the acting EFCC Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja yesterday.
The Electoral Act limits the amount candidates and parties can spend for electioneering. It also limits the amount an individual could donate to a political party’s campaign. Under the law, a presidential candidate is not expected to spend more than N1billion; governorship candidate N200 million and a senatorial candidate not more than N40 million.
But, in reality, the INEC Chairman said most political parties and politicians do not respect this law thereby urging the EFCC to lend institutional support towards the enforcement of the law.
In his words:”we want the EFCC which has the mandate and capacity to track and trace sources of funds to work closely with us so that we can trace within the limits of the law. Our democracy should not be on sale and I believe by working closely with the EFCC we can achieve that.
“Also, INEC is worried by the recent trend of vote buying in the open at polling stations; candidates and parties go to polling stations with sacks of money to induce voters, this must be stopped”
Speaking earlier, the acting EFCC chairman said most of the problems plaguing Nigeria were caused by corruption. He called on Nigerians to assist the anti-graft agency to tackle corruption, adding that the EFCC could not do it alone.
He also commended INEC for helping to tackle corruption. He also posited that “everyone must join in the fight against corruption. Corruption is a disaster, it has done too much damage in this country and I believe INEC is fighting corruption indirectly.
Over 200 staffs of INEC were recently dismissed for acts of corruption and misdemeanour during the 2015 elections.
Speaking at another forum, INEC Administrative Secretary in Kwara State, Mr. Paul Atser, had called for the monitoring and regulation of campaign finances. He spoke at the opening of a two-day training workshop on Campaign Finance Tracking and Reporting for INEC staff on Wednesday.
The zonal workshop was attended by INEC staff in North Central states comprising Niger, Nasarawa, Benue, Plateau, Kogi, Kwara and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Atser conceeded that money and other resources were required for the running of political parties and for candidates and aspirants to fund their campaign. “However, in a society such as ours, there is the need for strict regulations to be put in place to regulate the undue influence of money in politics,”
The administrative secretary said it would also prevent subversion of the will of the people through the use of money. He expressed worry about the overbearing influence of money in politics as exemplified in some recently conducted elections.
“The creation of Campaign Finance Tracking unit in the Department of Election and Party Monitoring (EPM) is part of efforts at tracking this worrisome trend. “The provisions in this regard in the Constitution, I believe, have been well thought of in order for stakeholders to uphold the supremacy of the constitution,” Atser added.
He said that INEC had been charged by the constitution to monitor political campaigns and provide rules and regulations which should govern the conduct of political parties. The commission is also charged with the responsibility of monitoring the organisation and activities of political parties, including their finances.