ABUJA – A civil society organization, Centre for Social Justice, has alleged that the two main political parties during the last Edo governorship election – Peoples Democratic Party and All Progressives Congress – violated the provisions of the Electoral Act in campaign funding.
It said the parties expended N1.7 billion on publicity thereby exceeding the ceiling recommended by the Act.
Section 91 (3) of the Electoral Act states that the maximum election expenses to be incurred by a candidate at a governorship election shall be N200 million while subsection 9 sets the limit of contribution by individual or entity shall not exceed N1,000,000.
The Act also says the offenders shall be liable to a fine of N1 million or imprisonment of 12 months or both in the case of a presidential candidate.
The Good Governance Programme Director of CENSOJ, Victor Emejiuwe, said at a press conference that the two parties which fielded the two frontline candidates, namely Osage Ize-Iyamu and Godwin Obaseki, spent more than what the Act provided in marketing the candidates.
He said the PDP expended N614 million on publicity between while the APC spent N1.01 billion during the campaign period.
According to Mr. Emejiuwe, the APC spent N718 million on TV and Radio to campaign for Mr. Obaseki and another N348 million on other media outlets.
On its part, the PDP spent N450 million on TV and radio to promote Mr. Ize-Iyamu and another N164 million in other media outlets.
Similarly, during campaigns in Ondo State for the governorship seat, CENSOJ said the two political parties expended N1.4 billion on publicity also exceeding the ceiling recommended by the Act
“The Naira has lost over 100% of its value from the time the Act was enacted to the present day. The ceiling has been static for a number of year when the currency has been directly and indirectly devalued,” Mr. Emejiuwe said.
“The fact that political parties were at liberty without limitation to spend money on candidate’s campaigns meant in effect that the ceiling was more apparent than real.”
The CENSOJ Good Governance Programme Director urged the National Assembly to upwardly review the ceiling of N200,000,000 for governorship election to N1 billion and ammend the Act from time to time based on changes in the economy after consultation with relevant stakeholders and the public.