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APC, PDP afoul of electoral laws, exceed campaign budget limit —INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday, disclosed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are two parties that have not yet turned in their audit reports from the most recent general election.

Aminu Idris, the director of elections and party monitoring for the commission, revealed this on Tuesday in Lagos during a two-day workshop on building the skills of journalists on important topics related to the Electoral Act of 2022 and the Commission’s Processes, Innovations, and Preparations for the 2023 General Election.

The two major parties were also accused of exceeding the N1 billion limit imposed by the Electoral Act for campaign spending.

INEC, on the other hand, claimed to have created forms that would make it simpler to track expenditures and to have also trained auditors from the recognized political parties.

Idris said only 34 political parties out of the 91 registered parties that participated in the 2019 elections have submitted their audit reports.

Among the 34 however, only nine met the full requirements of submitting audit reports accompanied by an affidavit.

He said, “In the 2019 general election, we tracked election expenses and we have a report of that. In 2023, we will go through this process.

Read also: 2023: INEC cautions parties on use of abusive language during campaigns

“The commission tracks expenditure for general elections. In the last report we did, we had some figures from the presidential election of the two major parties. We remember that then, the maximum limit was N1bn and what we had based on our tracking across the country was N4.6bn and N3.3bn. What we tracked were about four items namely billboards, print media advertisements, electronic media advertisements and coverage/programmes.”

On the audit report, Idris said, “In the 2019 election based on requirements for auditing reporting, 91 political parties participated and about 34 submitted reports of expenditure.

“But even among the 34, there were issues of compliance with the reports. Out of the 34, only nine fully complied with submitting a report with an affidavit. The commission is already auditing the accounts of political parties over the last five years; 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021.”

He simply responded, “In the list of the 34 political parties that submitted audit reports for the 2019 election, the main parties were not among,” when asked if the major parties were among the 34 that had submitted their audit report.

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