As the campaigns for the 2023 general elections kicked off on Wednesday, September 28, the National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Festus Okoye, says going by the Nigerian Constitution and the electoral act, no registered political party in Nigeria can operate a foreign account or receive funds from abroad. They cannot also receive funds donated anonymously.
Okoye said this when he appeared on Channels TV this evening. In his words;
”If the guiding electoral legal framework for this election remains the contitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended and the electoral act 2002 and the gulations and guidelines ruled out by the Independent and National Electoral Commission, If you look at section 225 of the Constitution of Nigeria, it makes it very clear that
1. No registered political party in Nigeria shall possess any funds outside the country. In other words, a political party cannot open an account and have monies remitted into that account outside the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
2. It makes it clear that no political party shall under any circumstance retain any funds remitted to it from outside the country and if such funds are remitted to the political party from outside the country, that political party has a constitutional and legal obligation to turn in such funds to INEC within a period of 21-days, from the date of the receipt of such funds.”
When asked if political parties cannot get funds from Nigerians or organizations in the diaspora, Okoye said;
”As far as 225 of the constitution is concerned, it did not make any distinction. It says you should not receive funds from outside so if you receive funds from Niger, Chad, Benin republic, it goes to the same issue”
With regards to crowdfunding, Okoye said;
”The law is very clear. The law states that no political party is obligated to receive funds annonymous donations, from sources it cannot testify to and the law is also very clear that when people donate funds to you, you should get their names, know their addresses and so on…and if you receive funds from a source you cannot identify, you should turn in such funs to INEC”