By Emmanuel Adeleke
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the guidelines for political campaigns as well as election expenses for political parties and candidates.
A statement issued by INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, also warned presidential candidates against running foul of Section 88 of the Electoral Act, which stipulates that “the maximum election expenses to be incurred by a candidate at a presidential election shall not exceed N5 billion.”
Okoye said the commission met on Thursday and deliberated on several issues including the publication and release of the guidelines.
“The commission approved the publication and release of the guidelines for the conduct of political rallies, processions and campaigns as well as that of finances and election expenses of political parties, candidates and aspirants,” he said.
According to the guidelines: “The maximum amount of money or other assets that an individual, a group of individuals or an entity can donate to a political party or aspirant for an election shall be N50,000,000. A political party shall not accept any monetary or other contribution which is more than N50,000,000 except it identifies and discloses the source of the contribution to the commission.
“The maximum amount of election expenses to be incurred by a candidate in respect of governorship election shall not exceed N1,000,000,000.
“Every political party that participated in an election shall submit to the portal designated by the commission an audited report of its election expenses within six months after an election. The reporting period shall commence 360 days to, and including, the election day.
“Every political party sponsoring the election of a candidate shall submit to the portal designated by the commission a report of the contributions made to it by individuals and entities within three months after the announcement of the results of an election. The report shall indicate the names, addresses, occupation of donour(s) and the amount.”
Okoye further explained that INEC has uploaded the two documents to its website and social media pages while copies would be made available to political parties, civil society groups, the media and other critical stakeholders.
He reminded political parties of their obligation to submit the required reports to the commission in accordance with the provisions of Section 90(4) of the Electoral Act 2022 and the applicable sanctions for failure to comply as provided in Section 89(4) of the Electoral Act.
Okoye also revealed that INEC approved the reappointment of the Secretary of the Commission, Mrs Rose Oriaran-Anthony, for a second and final term of four years, with effect from December 7, in accordance with Section 8 of the Electoral Act, 2022.