2019: INEC Ask EFCC To Monitor Politicians’ Spending
The Independent National Electoral Commission has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to monitor the sources of funding of politicial parities’campaigns as the 2019 general elections approach.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this when the acting EFCC Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja on Thursday,PUNCH reports.
According to the Electoral Act, no presidential candidate can spend over N1bn, no governorship candidate can spend over N200m and no senatorial candidate can spend above N40m.
The law also limits the amount of money that a person or association can donate to a political campaign.
However, the INEC chairman said most political parties and politicians had no regard for the law. He therefore called on the EFCC to assist INEC in curbing corruption.
“The Electoral Act places limits on the amount that each individual can spend in an election and also the amount that friends of candidates and parties can contribute in the election.
“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 never be on sale and I believe by working closely with the EFCC, we can achieve that.”
The INEC chairman said the anti-graft agency should also help the electoral body to tackle the issue of bribing voters at polling units.
“As we approach the 2019 general elections, we will require your support essentially in two ways. Number one, INEC is worried by the recent trend of vote buying at open polling stations. Candidates and parties go to polling stations with sacks of money to induce voters.
“Only the votes of citizens should determine who wins an election. Our democracy must never be for sale on the open market. It is the will of the people that should determine who wins.
“Open vote buying will not be tolerated by the commission and we don’t want the 2019 general election to be determined by the amount of money that people have.”
Yakubu thanked the EFCC for helping the commission to expose corrupt officials, many of whom, he said, were facing prosecution in several courts.
The INEC boss said over 200 officials had been sacked or suspended for alleged corrupt practices. He, however, maintained that most INEC officials were hard-working and honest.