- The EFCC has asked INEC to provide the APC, PDP and other aspirant's bank details following its latest investigation regarding the funds of political parties
- This move by the anti-graft agency as part of its efforts to unfold the source of funds used by aspirants and support groups in the purchase of the APC, PDP and other political parties' nomination forms
- Ahead of the 2023 elections, EFCC has reached out to two specific banks in the country demanding the details of accounts operated by the ruling APC and opposition PDP
A report by The Punch indicates that The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has launched a discreet investigation into the finances of the 18 political parties in the country and their presidential aspirants.
This followed the humongous fees paid for expression of interest and nomination forms by aspirants vying for various elective offices in the parties.
The anti-graft agency has, therefore, asked the Independent National Electoral Commission to furnish it with the bank accounts and other financial details of the political parties.
It also asked the managing directors of Access Bank and Polaris Bank to provide the details of the 14 accounts operated by the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party and another organisation believed to be connected to the opposition party.
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The cost of forms
While the ruling APC sold its presidential forms for N100m, the main opposition party pegged its forms at N40m.In addition, the APC governorship aspirants paid N50m, while persons who declared for the Senate, House of Representatives and state Houses of Assembly paid N20m, N10m and N2m, respectively for their nomination and expression of interest forms.
On the other hand, the PDP sold its governorship forms for N21m; Senate, N3.5m; House of Representatives, N2.5m; and state Houses of Assembly, N600,000.
While the other parties charged lesser amounts for their forms, the exorbitant nomination fees charged by the two dominant parties angered many Nigerians with Transparency International describing the development as a form of money laundering.
The EFCC chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, last week hinted on a Channels Television’s programme, Politics Today, that the commission would monitor campaign finances, including the legitimacy of the funds used to purchase nomination forms ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Bawa said the commission would be working with INEC and other election-related organisations to track the sources of the money spent on the purchase of nomination forms.
“When it comes to the issue of monitoring election funds as well as candidates’ funds that has to do with the work of INEC in this regard. But, of course, we are working hand in glove with INEC and other related agencies in that field to ensure that we follow the money.
“We want to know the source, whether it is legitimate or illegitimate, because that is what concerns us.”
Legit.ng gathered that the agency had begun a forensic investigation and tracking of the finances of the political organisations and interest groups.
The EFCC, in a letter to the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, dated May 9, 2022, signed by its Director of Operations, Michael Wetkas, on behalf of the chairman, demanded a list of all political parties, their designated bank accounts and any other information that could aid its investigation.
It was gathered that the EFCC was working on signals that the interest groups were being used to carry out money laundering activities.
Support groups may be probed for money laundering
The newspaper also gathered that the probe might also extend to the various support groups, which bought nomination forms for aspirants.
The EFCC was working on signals that the interest groups were being used to carry out money laundering activities.
How politicians, govt officials got ‘mysterious’ money to purchase presidential forms amid hardship
Nigerians at different quarters have expressed worries that despite the tough economic situation in the country, politicians are throwing N100 million into the coffers of political parties, not minding whether they are winning the primaries or not.
An estimated figure by THISDAY revealed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) may realize nothing less than N30 billion from the sale of its Nomination and Expression of Interest forms.
An analyst who preferred not to be mentioned told the newspaper that the APC may have the advantage ahead of others due to the rush for its forms.
2023: Tinubu, Osinbajo, others in tight corner as APC slams aspirants with tough conditions
The All Progressives Congress (APC) had released nine guidelines to govern the conduct of presidential, governorship, and parliamentary aspirants before, during, and after its primaries.
One of the conditions is that aspirants have been prohibited from suing the party or any of its members without first making use of avenues for redress and in-house settlement mechanisms.