*To monitor movement of money on election days to check vote-buying
*IPAC, Jega seek accountability, strict enforcement of election funding laws
As Nigerians await the release of the 2023 general election timetable, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has vowed to beam its searchlight on politicians and political parties in a bid to track the sources of funds for their campaigns.
To this end, the commission has said it will set up teams to monitor election spending ahead of the elections.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who stated this at a policy round-table conference on political campaign finance organised by The Electoral Forum in Abuja yesterday, also said the electoral umpire would also monitor the movement of money on election days to help tackle vote-buying at polling units.
Represented by Prof. Ajayi Kunle, who is INEC’s National Commissioner in-charge of party monitoring committee, Mahmood said through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, commercial banks would be mandated to report all suspicious transactions ahead of the election while threatening to prosecute any bank that failed to cooperate.
“We have not officially declared notice for the 2023 general elections, but when we so declare, we will put our monitoring committees to motion like the central banks, DSS,EFCC, ICPC, the (commercial) banks and other law enforcement agencies. We have that plan already.
“Every candidate must be made to declare his bank asset. That is where they draw out their money so we will make them to present their statement of account right from the onset. We will make it mandatory for them to turn in their bank statement so that if they say they are doing billboard and the account remains the same, then there is a problem.”
On the issue of vote buying, the INEC Chairman said, “We are going to establish finance monitoring teams and they will be among the electorate but they (politicians and political parties) won’t know. We are going to do it in a way that the influence of money will be reduced, because we want to make the electoral field a level playing ground for both rich and poor candidates and electorates. Everybody will be on equal level so that you won’t influence the voting pattern.”
According to him, besides the Electoral Act, the constitution empowers INEC to also make any other regulations that will assist its efficiency. The law, the Electoral Act empowers INEC to make other regulations.
Earlier, the National Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, Engr. Yabagi Sani, called for a strict enforcement of the regulations on election funding so as to prevent the monetisation of the electoral process and improve the level of trust between electorates and political party candidates.
This is even as the immediate past Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, identified the lack of accountability and transparency in political campaign financing as key factors responsible for some challenges facing Nigeria’s electoral system.
According to Jega, “If we insist on accountability, then you can begin to somehow sanitise the way political parties raise funds. I think what has happened is that we paid too much attention on the issue of electronic transmission of results, and somehow they quickly passed the sections about raising the threshold. The civil societies did not pay much attention in their advocacy against this particular issue.
“Nevertheless, I wouldn’t advise or recommend that we delay the passage of the bill on account of this particular issue. What we should be exploring are ways and means of ensuring that there is accountability about how these funds are raised and the spending ceiling is met as well as how the expenditure is done.”
On his part, the IPAC Chairman said the need to step up enforcement of the regulation on election funding was born out of the imperatives of sanity and integrity in elections, saying that a failure to do so could debase the voting process to the level of what he described as “a commodity for the highest bidder.”
Sani, who was represented by IPAC’s National Treasurer, Barrister Obidike Okolo, noted that the triple menace of trans-national drug trafficking, money-laundering and terrorism, had led to issues of corruption as well as the destabilisation of democratic philosophy.
He said while the controversial Electoral Amendment Bill (2020), if eventually assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, will usher in the upgrading of what a presidential candidate can spend at elections from N1 Billion to N5 Billion, representing a 400% increment amongst others, there was a need for its enforcement to ensure compliance with the provisions of the law on political campaign finance.
This, he noted, would enable the country to avoid a situation where the country’s democracy is undermined in the long-term.
Sani said, “After the restoration of democracy, the Nigerian parliament enacted the first statute regulating election funding in 2005 and followed with an amendment to the Act in 2018.
“Yet, another amendment with more comprehensive prohibitions came about in the 2020 Electoral Amendment Bill, still in the works as a result of disputes between the Legislative and Executive Arms over certain clauses and provisions.
VANGUARD NEWS NIGERIA
You may like
FINALLY!!! Tinubu Lists Conditions For Open Debate With Peter Obi
The All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, has listed conditions his counterpart from the Labour Party, LP, Peter Obi, must meet before engaging in a debate with him.
Tinubu said he would engage Obi in a debate after he released his manifesto for Nigerians to scrutinize.
Speaking through the spokesman of his campaign team, Festus Keyamo, Tinubu said Obi should also list his achievements during his tenure as governor of Anambra State before any debate can hold.
Keyamo said Obi should name any political party he formed.
He said Obi should disclose those he had mentored in politics who are still with him before asking for a debate.
“Before Obi can stand shoulder to shoulder with Asiwaju to debate, he should first release a manifesto for scrutiny; then he should list his tangible achievements as Governor of Anambra State compared to the tangible achievements of Asiwaju as Governor of Lagos State.
“Then he should list those he has mentored in politics from the days of his being Governor who is still with him now; then he should tell us any political party he has either formed or partnered to form and which he still belongs to today.”
PHOTOS: Large Turnout As Tinubu Campaign In Lagos
There was a large turnout of supporters in Lagos State on Saturday at the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential and governorship campaign rally held at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere.
Photos posted by the official Twitter account of the APC Presidential Campaign Council show hundreds of supporters seated with banners displaying the names and images of the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima.
INDEPENDENT CAMPAIGN GROUP FLOATED IN LAGOS FOR TINUBU, SANWO-OLU
Tayo Ayinde, Baba Eto lead grassroots campaign for APC candidates
An Independent Campaign Group (ICG) has been floated in Lagos State for the re-election of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the actualisation of the presidential ambition of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Frontline politician and Christian leader, Cardinal James Odunmbaku, popularly known as Baba Eto, is the chairman of the independent group whose role will be complementary to the ongoing campaign of the Lagos APC.
Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Tayo Ayinde, who led similar effort in 2018, is the Director General of the ICG. Ayinde will be overseeing the activities of all the directorates under the group.
The ICG was constituted purposely for the mobilisation of voters at the grassroots level towards meeting the target of five million votes for the party in the presidential candidate and to deliver votes across Lagos councils for the party’s governorship flag bearer.
Odunmbaku said the mandate of the ICG was to create a penetrating structure that would independently take the party’s campaign activities to the grassroots. He said the group’s mission was to operate from the grassroots to the top level.
He said: “Our work is a simple but technical one, because we operate from the grassroots to the top level. This Independent Campaign Group is an assembly of grassroots volunteers and mobilisers working for the actualisation of the presidential ambition of our leader, Asiwaju Tinubu, and for the re-election of our performing Governor Sanwo-Olu.
“Everyone appointed into this group has been given the charge to engage Lagosians on our message. They have shown their readiness to work and take the campaign to the voters in theirs abodes. Our operation and activities are independent of the party’s ongoing campaign but we will be working in complementary to the campaign activities of the party.”
Heads of the 60 directorates in the group were sworn in on Friday at its office in GRA, Ikeja.
Bashorun Sikiru Alabi-McFoy is the Deputy Director General. Chairman of Conference 57 in Lagos, Hon. Kolade Alabi, is the adviser to the group m.
There are four Assistant Directors-General for the ICG in the three senatorial districts, with Lagos West having two Deputy DGs to oversee the group’s activities in Badagry and Ikeja divisions.
Jubril Gawat, an influential social media user and Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Sanwo-Olu on New Media, leads the Directorate of Digital Communications.
2 years ago
12 CNN Lekki Posers (For critical thinkers)
2 years ago
The message behind Carpe diem by Olamide
2 years ago
US Based Entertainment Magnate, Deji Bello Hosts IwoLand Top Men At His Nashville Home
2 years ago
How Fulani herdsmen ruined my farm in Osun State – Babatunde
2 years ago
Oluwo Of Iwo’s Vehicle Stolen in Lagos Hotel
2 years ago
RE: The truth behind Sanwo-Olu’s proposed cancellation of pension pay to Tinubu, Fashola and Ambode
2 years ago
Itel Debuts its Latest “More stylish than ever” S Series Smartphones S16 and S16 Pro in Nigerian Market
2 years ago
Martify Celebrates Grand Opening of Second Outlet in Alimosho