Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has disclosed its intention, not to spare any political party that spends more than the legally required fund for elections campaign.
According to the commission, over seven million Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, are still waiting to be collected by their different owners.
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, in his words said “We haven’t made much progress in the last two years but we have made elaborate arrangements with the states to ensure that the cards are collected”.
Yakubu made this known at the round table discussion organised by European Union delegation to Nigeria and West Africa on election matters, over the weekend.
Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC chairman, revealed that out of the 46 registered political parties, only five of the political parties have made their accounts available to the commission for scrutiny.
The commission has also warned that any party found guilty of expending more than the recommended constitutional fund for election campaigns would be sanctioned accordingly. “Where a political party comes out openly to raise funds beyond the limits provided for in the constitution, the commission will apply sanctions.” Oyekanmi said.
The commission however disclosed that in the 2015 general elections, “core cost of the election was $547 million, political parties and their candidates spent between $1.5 billion and $2 billion. Section 91 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, provides that a presidential candidate can spend a maximum amount of N1 billion, while a governorship candidate can spend a maximum amount of N200 million”.
It was further revealed by The commission that the Electoral Act indicates that a senatorial candidate cannot expend more than N40 million, while a House of Representatives candidate on his part cannot expend more than N20 million for elections campaign.
The Act also provides that for a state Assembly election, the fund of the campaign should not exceed N10 million, and that of local government chairmanship and councillorship elections should not exceed N10 million and N1 million respectively.
According to Yakubu, “The most important thing for us as we plan towards 2019 is the effectiveness of our plan”. as the commissioned is said to have put in place strategic plans and strategic programmes actions in respect of the coming elections.