Ahead of the 2023 general elections, some experts and politicians have called for the resolution of controversies and loopholes surrounding campaign financing, to deepen democracy and accountability in the country.
They made the call during a webinar hosted by the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ).
The participants were a retired Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Director in charge of political party monitoring and liaison (PPLM), Mrs. Regina Omo-Agege; the National Public Secretary of the Allied People’s Movement (APM), Sidi Ali; and a former president of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Sani Zorro.
The meeting was moderated by Mr Dapo Olorunyomi, publisher of Premium Times.
They were, however, unanimous that if the nation’s party system must work and if elections would matter, the issues around campaign funding must be resolved to enable Nigerians to enjoy the dividends of democracy.
Omo-Agege said it was difficult if not impossible for INEC or any other agency or individuals to monitor all monies spent by political parties on campaigns.
She reiterated the constitutional rights of political parties to spend money in an election but berated the reluctance of parties to disclose their expenses due to the inability to account for revenue generated.
Speaking on the current regime of campaign finances, Mr Ali called for action against the cause of the loopholes and weakness of the law guiding spending of political parties as well as the vacuum in moral ideology driving political parties in the country.
Hon. Zorro on his part said there were laws regulating elections and campaign funding but that the punitive measures were supposed to be taken by the National Assembly.