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NGO wants sanctions on excess campaign spending

NGO wants sanctions on excess campaign spending

From Fisayo Akinduro, Osogbo
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Government and relevant stakeholders have been urged to implement stiff sanctions to curtail campaign financial excesses.

The General Coordinator of a Non Governmental Organization in Osun State, Justice Development and Peace Maker’s Centre, JDPMC, Rev. Fr. Peter Akinkunmi, gave the recommendation at a public presentation of the findings on campaign finances of the main political parties and candidates of the 2019 presidential election in Osogbo.

Akinkunmi said the only way to eliminate menace of vote buying that has crippled the electoral processes in Nigeria was to criminalise the act with imprisonment without the option of fine.

Akinkunmi noted that the major political parties, based on their findings, spent against what was stipulated in the electoral laws, saying all hands must be on deck to eradicate this ugly situation.

According to him, “vote buying should be criminalised with severe prison sentence with no option of fine. All hands must be deck to ensure the emergence of a more effective legal framework and enforcement mechanism at least two years before the 2023 general elections.

“Sanctions for over spending in the present framework lacks the capacity of deterrence and is inadequate for satisfaction of justice in case of default by prescribing a fine of a million of naira or 12 months imprisonment .

While calling for electoral reforms, Akinkunmi said  “Legal Framework on campaign Finance of the 2010 Electoral Act should also pay attention to candidates’ personal expenditure.

He added that active and efficient inter-agency mechanism for the tracking of campaign finance should be established by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

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“The government, international communities and international NGOs should support grassroots CSOs in the building their capacity in carrying out effective campaign monitoring at all levels of our politics.”

“Improvement in the national Cash policy; improvement of banking security with the introduction of BVN and TSA as mitigated reckless movement of fund from one bank account to another . Most questionable transactions especially during the period of election are done with raw cash .

We recommend a serious review if cash movement policy to ensure that internal movement of cash by non- financial institution are monitored and that effective surveillance is set on activities of financial institutions at all times.”

He called on INEC and the National Orientation Agency to pursue a robust public awareness creation on campaign finance laws and their importance in the democratic process .

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NGO wants sanctions on excess campaign spending

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