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INEC warns parties on foreign donations as 2023 campaign commences

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday warned political parties against seeking foreign donations and other support in the build-up to the 2023 general elections.

The INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, gave the warning when he featured on Channels Television’s programme, Politics Today.

The rise of the Labour Party — a viable Third Force — amongst the youth demographic has led to calls for donations to enable the party to undertake a successful campaign.

However, Okoye warned parties against foreign donations, especially from unverified sources.

The INEC commissioner said: “If the guiding electoral framework remains the constitution and the Electoral Act, section 225 makes it very clear that no party shall possess any funds outside the country.

READ ALSO: 2023: INEC to monitor parties’ campaign spending

“In other words, no party can open an account outside the country.

“Also, no party can retain any funds sent to it outside of the country and there is an obligation to turn in such funds to the commission within 21 days.

“As far as that section is concerned, it doesn’t make any distinction irrespective of whether the senders are Nigerians or not. The law says don’t receive funds from outside of the country.

“No party should also receive funds from sources it cannot testify to; the law mandates the parties to note the data of senders. Parties must maintain proper channels of accounts with the knowledge of the Commission. If a party receives funds from unknown and unverified sources, it should report to the Commission.”

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