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2019 Polls: Political Parties Fail To Disclose Contributions Received From Individuals

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In contravention to the electoral act 2010 as amended, political parties that participated in the 2019 general have failed to disclose financial contributions received from individuals and corporate bodies, the chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has said.

Presently, there are 91 registered political parties in Nigeria and 73 of them fielded candidates for the 2019 presidential elections.

Based on the provision of Section 93(4) of the Electoral Act, political parties are supposed to disclose financial contributions received from individuals and corporate bodies three months after the announcement of the results of the general election.

Out of the 91 political parties in the country, none has disclosed financial contribution it recieved from individuals to run it campaign in the 2019 election which the electoral umpire said contravene the provision of the law.

Speaking during the review of the 2019 general election with political parties in Nigeria, INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu who said  candidates are expected to disclose their experiences within six months of the election, added that only one presidential candidate had submitted financial expenses report.

“It is important to remind us that as we review the 2019 General Elections in order to identify successes, challenges and the way forward, we should also ask ourselves the extent to which we have complied with the extant laws.”

“I wish to remind you that the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) requires each political party to submit two election expenses reports to the Commission.”

“First is the disclosure of material contributions received from individuals and corporate bodies three months after the announcement of the results of the General Election as provided for in Sec. 93(4) of the Electoral Act.”

“So far, no political party is in compliant. Secondly, parties are required to submit audited returns of their election expenses within six months after an election as provided for in Sec. 92(3)[a] of the Electoral Act.”

“Although we are still within the time frame provided by law, so far only one party has filed its returns. Similarly, the Commission notes that only one presidential candidate has submitted financial expenses report. We wish to remind leaders of political parties of their obligations under the law,” Yakubu said.

“We already conveyed to each political party the range of issues to be discussed at this meeting. We are also aware that many of you are familiar with previous efforts to reform the electoral process. In the last eleven years, wide ranging recommendations have been made by several committees on electoral reform, notably the Uwais Committee (2008), the Lemu Committee (2011) and most recently the Nnamani Committee (2017). The various Committees made essentially similar recommendations. They identified the need to re-examine the extensive responsibilities of INEC, the roles and responsibilities of the security agencies during elections, the imperative of internal democracy within political parties, issues of inclusivity with particular reference to marginalised segments of our society (women, youths and persons living with disabilities), voter inducement which has now assumed a new dimension with vote-buying at polling units on election day, reform of the electoral legal framework, violence and hate speech during the electioneering process, and appropriate sanctions for violators of our electoral laws,” said while asking for the contribution of the political parties in the proposed electoral laws amendment.

Yakubu who reiterated the need for a decent conduct of party primaries and nomination of candidates, said the 2019 General Elections was indeed very acrimonious with about 809 court cases.

“We shall also work with IPAC to ensure that the required amendments to the legal framework are given speedy consideration by the National Assembly,” Yakubu said.

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