INEC inaugurates committee to check spending of political parties

Abiola David
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has inaugurated a ten (10) member  inter-agency campaign finance monitoring group ahead of the general election.
The group is expected to  partner with the commission’s election and party finance monitoring department,  as well as  to monitor the source of funds and spending of all political party and their  candidates.
The committee is to ensure that candidate and political parties participation in the fort coming election do not exceed the approved spending limit.
While inaugurating the committee on behave of the Chairman of the Commission,  Antonia Okosi-Simbine a  national commissioner said INEC will was working to ensure that political that political parties do not spent beyond that legal limit during their campaign adding that whose so ever spent beyond what the legal framework provided for or spent outrageously will have themselves to blame.
“We will check newspapers advertisements, TV, Radio, billboard and we must see to the conclusion. Those who spent beyond what the legal framework provided for or spent outrageously will have themselves to blame,” he said.
He said, the commission could not record success in the tracking campaign funds  in 2015  due to  lack of adequate information from political parties/candidates.
The members of the new group include the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) and Center for Social Justice (CSJ).
Others are the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), and the Nigerian Press Council (NPC).
According to the Constitution of Nigeria, the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA1990 as amended), Political Party Finance Manual 2017 and Guidelines and Regulations for Political Parties 2015, the commission is required to track and monitor of expenses of political parties during election period.
Section 91 of the electoral Act which pegged a maximum of N1 billion for presidential candidate, while a governorship Candidates cannot spend more than N200 million for their campaign.
“Those reports must be published after the election. Unlike what happened in the past, six months will be late for the report. We will ensure compliance with the electoral act,” Simbine added.