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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday informed all political parties that took part in the 2019 general elections to file in their report on material aids and contributions received from individuals and corporate bodies for the 2019 elections as provided by the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
In a 12 paragraphs address presented by the chairman of the Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu in Abuja at the first meeting with all political parties since after the conclusion of the 2019 General Elections, he said “It is important to remind us that as we review the 2019 General Elections in order to identify successes, challenges and the way forward, we should also ask ourselves the extent to which we have complied with the extant laws”.
“I wish to remind you that the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) requires each political party to submit two election expenses reports to the Commission. First is the disclosure of material contributions received from individuals and corporate bodies three months after the announcement of the results of the General Election as provided for in Sec. 93(4) of the Electoral Act.
“So far, no political party is in compliance. Secondly, parties are required to submit audited returns of their election expenses within six months after an election as provided for in Sec. 92(3)[a] of the Electoral Act. Although we are still within the time frame provided by law, so far only one party has filed its returns.
“Similarly, the Commission notes that only one presidential candidate has submitted financial expenses report. We wish to remind leaders of political parties of their obligations under the law.
INEC chairman recalled that “The Commission has promised the nation that it will undertake a major national conversation on the future of our electoral process”.
“Having concluded our in-house reviews today marks the beginning of our consultation with stakeholders.
“This is therefore an auspicious occasion to, first of all, hear from those who actually fielded candidates for 1,558 constituencies in which elections were held in 2019 and deployed agents to 119,973 polling units as well as the various levels of collation of results and declaration of winners nationwide,” INEC chairman observed.
Yakubu added further that “From the outset, I must acknowledge the support of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) which has worked closely with the Commission at national and State levels to mobilise citizens for effective and peaceful participation in the electoral process ranging from voter education, party primaries and nomination of candidates, electioneering campaigns and orderly conduct before, during and after the elections”.
“We have together done a lot but more needs to be done. As we continue to strive for the improvement of the electoral process, the political parties are no doubt critical to the realisation of this objective,” Prof Yakubu averred.
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