The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has approved the publication and release of guidelines for the Conduct of Political Rallies, Processions and Campaigns as well as that of Finances and Election Expenses of political parties, Candidates and Aspirants.
Accordingly, it has set a ceiling of N50 million as the maximum amount of money or other assets that an individual, a group of individuals or an entity can donate to a political party or aspirant for an election.
INEC also placed a ban on the conduct of political rallies in worship centres and public institutions.
“The maximum amount of money or other assets that an individual, a group of individuals or an entity can donate to a political party or aspirant for an election shall be N50,000,000 (fifty million Naira only)
“A Political Party shall not accept any monetary or other contribution which is more than N50,000,000 except it identifies and discloses the source of the contribution to the Commission”, the document stated.
INEC added that contribution to candidates by an individual or entity shall be from 150 days allowed for campaigns to Election Day while contribution to aspirants by an individual or entity shall be from the date notice of election is published to the conclusion of Party Primaries.
INEC added that the election expenses of a candidate shall not exceed the limits prescribed in the Electoral Act, 2022 (as amended).
According to the commission, “the election expenses of a Political Party shall be in three parts; for the management of Aspirants and Party Primaries; for management of Candidates and conduct of elections; and, for miscellaneous election expenses.
INEC added that the election expenses of a Political Party for management of Party Primaries shall not exceed two-third of the limits prescribed for candidates expenses in the Electoral Act, 2022 for respective elective positions.
Similarly, the election expenses of a Political Party for conduct of elections shall not exceed two-third the limit of election expenses of each Candidate multiplied by the number of Candidates the Political Party shall sponsor in a particular election for elective positions.
“The miscellaneous election expenses of a Political Party shall include but not limited to: Pre-election cases against the party; Post-election or election petitions; Re-mobilization of Party members after elections”, the commission stated.
It added that every Political Party shall submit to the Commission, detailed annual statement of its assets and liabilities and analysis of its sources of funds and other assets, together with statement of its expenditure between 1st January and 30th March of the succeeding year in hard and soft copy.
In diaspora contributions, INEC declared that every Political Party shall notify the it of, and transfer to the Commission any funds or other assets remitted or sent to it from outside Nigeria within 21 days of receipt.
“Where needed, the Political Party shall provide such information as may be required by the Commission”, it added.
The commission has also created a portal through which every Political Party sponsoring the election of a candidate shall submit to the Commission a report of the contributions made to it by individuals and entities within three months after the announcement of the results of an election.
The report, according to INEC, shall indicate the names, addresses, occupation of donor(s) and the amount of money donated.
On political rallies, INEC said “no political rally or procession shall hold in places designated as religious centres, police stations and public institutions”.
“Political rallies or processions shall not involve the use of abusive language or any form of hate speech.
“Political rallies or processions shall not involve the use of physical force or coercion by organised groups or individuals”, the electoral umpire added.