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Sowore publishes campaign account

By Tunde Joshua

While the Economic and Financial Crimes C o m m i s s i o n (EFCC), tasked with the responsibility of monitoring of financial activities of parties and politicians is yet to come up with guidelines, a presidential aspirant, Omoyele Sowore, has made a public statement of his campaign account.

In what could be described as rare display of accountability and transparency, the Sowore Political Action Committee. made its monthly account available on social media.

The Committee which coordinates the Sowore For President campaign promised to leave a permanently online statement of the account into which willing Nigerians can pay money to support the presidential aspiration of the Sahara Reporters publisher and activist turned politician, The Trumpet gathered.

Information on the statement of the Nigerian bank account of the Omoyele Sowore Presidential Campaign, according to the online statement, will be released monthly for “transparency purpose.”

Nigerians politicians in leading parties, like APC and PDP, have in the past breached provision of the Electoral Act on campaign spending and sponsorship.

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Before its amendment, section 93 of Nigeria’s electoral law provides that “a political party sponsoring the election of a candidate shall, within three months of the announcement of the results of the election, file a report of the contributions made by individuals and entities to (INEC).”

For the 2019 presidential election, just the Action Democratic Party (ADP), All Grassroots Alliance (AGA), Liberation Movement and YES Party, out of 73 parties complied with this provision by submitting financial details of their candidates. Many Nigerians and civil society organisations are concerned and wonder whether INEC will be able to monitor parties and candidates effectively.

Of grave concern is the fact that the law does not specify punishment for breaching campaign spending benchmark. The new campaign spending ceilings in the fresh Electoral Act has been jacked up from between 150 per cent to 400 per cent. The spending limit now allows presidential candidates to increase their cash haul from the current N1 billion to N5 billion (400 per cent increase).

Governorship candidates will be able to rake in N1 billion from the current N200 million. Senatorial candidates can now legally raise N100 million, up from the previous N40 million (150 per cent increase). Candidates to the House of Representative are set to accept N70 million from the current N30 million (133 per cent increase).

State Assembly candidates are free to rase N30 million, up from the previous N10 million (a 200 per cent increase).

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