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Why Political Parties’ Audited Accounts Haven’t Been Published Since 2016 – INEC

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Indications have emerged that the refusal of political parties to submit to the Independent National Electoral Commission their annual financial statement as required by the constitution and the Electoral Act has prevented the commission from monitoring their finances and publishing the same as mandated by the constitution.
INEC confirmed to The Tide source that it audited the accounts of the parties up to 2016 and it had gone far on their 2017 and 2018 accounts, whilst awaiting the remaining years.
INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, said at a meeting with chairmen of political parties in March 2021 that only one political party complied with the constitutional provision, warning that their refusal to comply was in contravention of the law.
Yakubu had said, “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 Section 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 Section 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.”
A top source in the commission however told our correspondent that the reason INEC had defaulted in publishing the accounts annually, in line with the constitution, was because political parties had refused to comply.
The source said, “The truth of the matter is that the parties have not been complying. I don’t know how many of them have been complying, but the big ones have not. These are our stakeholders and we meet with them, so we don’t want it to appear as if we are dragging them in the media.”
When asked why the commission did not sanction them for not complying, the source said, “We try to persuade them to do what is expected of them rather than wield the big stick. The current chairman likes to persuade people instead of imposing sanctions all the time. It is only when we try all persuasive means and they don’t change that we apply sanctions, and then they come begging.
“When the chairman comes out to speak like that, it’s a note of warning to them and we expect that they should understand. They don’t have to wait till the commission comes hard on them in that regard.”
Meanwhile, when asked why the commission has not published the parties’ audited accounts for years, violating the constitution that seeks to entrench transparency and accountability in the way the parties are run, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, said, “The commission has audited the accounts of political parties up till 2016 and we have gone far on 2017 and 2018 accounts.
“However, the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019 slowed us down. Don’t forget also, the commission deregistered 74 political parties in February 2020 and we now have 18 political parties. However, we have made substantial progress and work on this issue will be completed in due course.”
Section 86 of the Electoral Act mandates every political party to submit its detailed annual statement of account to the commission, which would be audited by the commission and subsequently published in two national newspapers and the commission’s website.
Section 86 (1) states, “Every political party shall submit to the commission a detailed annual statement of assets and liabilities and analysis of its sources of funds and other assets, together with statement of its expenditure including hard and soft copy of its list of members or in such a form as the commission may require.
“(2) Any official of the political party who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable to a fine of Nl,000,000 or imprisonment for a term of six months or both. (3) A political party shall grant to any officer authorised in writing by the commission, access to examine the records and audited accounts kept by the political party in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the political party shall give to the officer all such information as may be requested in relation to all contributions received by or on behalf of the party.
“(4) The commission shall publish the report on such examinations and audit in two national newspapers and the commission’s website within 30 days of receipt of the results.”
Similarly, section 15, under Part I of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), mandates the commission to “monitor the organisation and operation of the political parties, including their finances,” and “arrange for the annual examination and auditing of the funds and accounts of political parties, and publish a report on such examination and audit for public information.”

Also, Section 225 (1) states, “Every political party shall, at such times and in such manner as the independent National Electoral Commission and publish a statement of its assets and liabilities.” The subsection (2) adds, “Every political party shall submit to the Independent National Electoral Commission a detailed annual statement and analysis of its sources of funds and other assets together with a similar statement of its expenditure in such form as the Commission may require.”

When contacted on the reason for their refusal to submit their detailed accounts annually, some of the major parties did not answer their calls.

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2023: ‘Unknown Persons’ Stole My Academic Certificates, Tinubu Tells INEC

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The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has told the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that his academic certificates were stolen by unknown persons while he was on self exile.
Tinubu, a former Lagos State Governor, was one of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) Chieftains who fled the country under the regime of the late General Sani Abacha.
Abacha had clamped down on academics, activists and other technocrats opposed to his regime.
In his sworn affidavit in support of his nomination form for the office of the president, Tinubu said he “went on self exile from October 1994 to October 1999 (and) when I returned and discovered that my property including all the documents relating to my qualification and my certificates in respect of paragraph 3 above were looted by unknown persons.”
While Tinubu skipped information regarding his primary and secondary education in the INEC form, he, however, said he attended University of Chicago between 1972 and 1976, where he obtained B.Sc in Economics.
He also said he had B.Sc in Business and Administration, as well as certificate in Public Account.
Tinubu’s latest claims appear to contradict his previous election submissions, especially in 1999, when he ran and won the Lagos State governorship election.
He had said then that he attended St Paul Children’s Home School, Ibadan, between 1958 and 1964; while his secondary education was at Government College Ibadan (GCI), between 1965 and 1968.
Following a backlash, the former governor withheld his primary and secondary schools academic records when he recontested in 2003.
He had claimed that from Ibadan, he proceed to Richard Daley College, Chicago, from 1969 to 1971.
He finally said he attended both Chicago State University and the University of Chicago.
All the submissions were, however, challenged as fraudulent by a prominent Nigerian lawyer, late Gani Fawehinmi.
Fawehinmi, who argued the matter up to the Supreme Court, which dismissed the case on technical grounds.
In his forms, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, presented the Master’s degree he obtained in 2021, as his highest educational qualification.

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PDP Chieftain Hails Aduda’s Emergence As Senate Minority Whip

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A chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Honourable Hellen Taiwo-Adebakin, has congratulated Senator Philip Tanimu Aduda on his emergence  as Senate Minority Whip
Adebakin, while rejoicing with the Senator said, Aduda’s elevation was a great honour for the good people of the FCT that he represents, who daily yearn for effective inclusion in the affairs of Nigeria.
Hon Adebakin, Secretary of the former and current ex-National ex-officio members of the PDP also described the new feat attained by the Senator as a product of loyalty and consistency to the PDP.
“I am using this opportunity to rejoice with one of our leaders in PDP, Senator Philip Aduda over his emergence as the Senate Minority Whip. Your elevation to this enviable position was a product of hard work, commitment to legislative duties and loyalty to the party. I pray to God Almighty to continue to guide as you assume this position,” Adebakin said.
She, therefore, urged him to continue to be a good ambassador of the party, stressing that the Senator will move to a higher position in the Red Chamber when the PDP returns to power at the centre in 2023.

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Senate Lauds Gbajabiamila’s House Leadership As Speaker Turns 60

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The Senate has lauded House of Representatives’ Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila on his 60th birthday.
The Senate gave the commendation in a statement by its spokesman and Chairman, Media and Public Affairs Committee, Senator Ajibola Basiru in Abuja.
The statement reads: “The upper legislative chamber, Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria wishes to congratulate an outstanding achiever, an astute legal light, a man of exemplary social standing and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Right Honorable Olufemi Hakeem Gbajabiamila on his 60th birthday.
“Achieving this major milestone – a perfect 10, six times, over which you have attained calls for recognition and celebration; especially having achieved so much for yourself, the society and the nation.
“The Senate recognises you as a man of good upbringing and a well-bred personality who had traversed the universe in search of education and had achieved so much in your chosen legal career before making outstanding pursuits in legislative politics.
“Your services as an extraordinary lawmaker have been impeccable rising from being a member of the House of Representatives to becoming the minority leader, majority leader and then holding the prestigious position of the Speaker of the elite Assembly”.
“Your being one of the two longest-serving members of the House of Representatives also calls for all accolades that can be showered on you today.
“You have surely had many adventures in life but we still see you travelling farther to further stabilise the Nation’s polity and we pray for long life and good health for you as all things get better with age for you.
“While we rejoice with you, we hope you will have an amazing birthday. Congratulations!”

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