Forward of the 2023 common elections, the Impartial Nationwide Electoral Fee (INEC) has as soon as once more, assured Nigerians that it has no most well-liked get together or candidate.
Talking on the 2022 annual Abubakar Momoh memorial lecture, INEC Chairman Prof Mahmood Yakubu mentioned the fee “shall solely be certain that all legitimate votes depend and the winners are determined solely by the voters.”
He assured that “the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS), INEC Voter Enrolment Machine (IVED), INEC Outcomes Viewing Portal (IRev) and different technological gadgets, now within the Electoral Act 2022 have been meant to deepen the Electoral course of in our nation.
“Their optimum efficiency within the simply concluded gubernatorial election in Ekiti and Osun states is an eloquent testimony to their electoral worth. We will solely do extra to consolidate their deployment in our election.”
Yakubu additional mentioned: “It’s crucial for all stakeholders particularly the political events to notice the key options launched by the brand new Electoral Act 2022 and the doable implications of those adjustments on the upcoming elections.
“These adjustments embody amongst others, the conduct of early get together primaries by political events, technological adjustments within the electoral course of, the Fee’s energy to Evaluation the choice of the Returning Officer and Over voting based mostly on the variety of accredited Voters.
“These new initiatives as contained within the legislation served because the bedrock for the reviewed Rules and Pointers for the Conduct of Elections 2022 launched by the Fee on twenty fourth Could 2022. This in flip dictated the evaluation of the Handbook for Election Officers, 2022.”
Keynote speaker on the occasion, Professor Yemi Akinseye-George(SAN), questioned the fact and practicability of the provisions on the election bills and limits on donations to political events.
Analyzing part 88 (1) of the 2022 Electoral Act which stipulates limitations on elections bills, Akinseye-George famous that the provisions of the structure on the audit by INEC of the funds and accounts of political events weren’t enforced.
Part 88 (1) of the 2022 Electoral Act states: “Election bills shall not exceed the sum stipulated in subsections (2)-(7).
“The utmost election bills to be incurred by a candidate at a presidential election shall not exceed N5, 000,000,000.
“The utmost quantity of election bills to be incurred by a candidate in respect of governorship election shall not exceed N1,000,000,000.
“The utmost quantity of election bills to be incurred by a candidate in respect of Senatorial and Home of Representatives seat shall not exceed N100, 000,000 and N70, 000,000 respectively.
“Within the case of State Meeting election, the utmost quantity of election bills to be incurred by a candidate shall not exceed N30, 000,000.
“Within the case of a chairmanship election to an Space Council, the utmost quantity of election bills to be incurred by a candidate shall not exceed N30, 000,000.
“Different provisions of the Electoral Act limitations of electoral bills embody: “Within the case of Councillorship election to an Space Council, the utmost quantity of election bills to be incurred by a candidate shall not exceed N5, 000,000.
“No particular person or different entity shall donate to a candidate greater than N50, 000,000.”
Based on Part 89 (1), election bills means “For the needs of an election, “bills incurred by a political get together inside the interval from the date discover is given by the Fee to conduct an election as much as and together with, the polling day in respect of the actual election.
“Election bills incurred by a political get together for the administration or the conduct of an election shall be decided by the Fee in session with the political events.”
In view of the above, Akinseye-George mentioned: “The query is how sensible or practicable are these provisions on Election bills and limits on donations to political events. Does INEC have the capability to watch the donations made to political events?
“The provisions of the Structure on the audit by INEC of the funds and accounts of political events are usually not enforced.”