All is not well among Nigerian politicians and their political parties as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) moves to enforce the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 on campaign spending.
Investigations conducted by LEADERSHIP showed that INEC has received reports from its state offices on politicians and political parties that breached the law during their campaign for the 2019 general elections.
The presidential and National Assembly polls were held on February 23 while the governorship and state legislatures’ elections followed suit on March 9 across the country. Credible INEC sources revealed that the commission has begun the compilation of the list of offenders from 10 state offices which have so far submitted their reports on the violation of the campaign spending limit.
Before the conduct of the 2019 general elections, INEC had pegged the maximum expenditure of presidential candidates at N1 billion while governorship candidates were to restrict their spending to N200 million. For senatorial and House of Representatives candidates, the commission fixed their campaign expenditures at N40 million and N20 million respectively, based on the provisions of Section 91 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
In the event of any violation of the law, the Electoral Act stipulates N1million fine or one-year jail term or both in the case of the presidential election. For the governorship race, offenders risk a fine of N800,000 or nine months’ jail term or both while in the Senate contest the punishment is a fine of N600,000 or six months’ jail term or both.
Members or candidates for the House of Representatives, who go against the law, face a fine of N500,000 or a jail term of five months or both while state Houses of Assembly contestants who also breached the law risk a fine of N300,000 or three months’ jail term or both. It was learnt that the state INEC offices which have submitted their reports to the commission’s headquarters listed the names of the politicians who exceeded the campaign spending limit.