The All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party are two of the political parties that have yet to submit audit reports from the last general election.
The two major parties were also accused of exceeding the N1 billion campaign spending limit set by the Electoral Act.
However, the Independent National Electoral Commission stated that it had prepared forms to help track expenditures and had also trained auditors from registered political parties.
Aminu Idris, the commission’s Director of Elections and Party Monitoring, revealed this on Tuesday in Lagos during a two-day capacity-building workshop for journalists on critical issues in the Electoral Act, 2022 and the Commission’s Processes, Innovations, and Preparations for the 2023 General Election.
According to Idris, only 34 of the 91 registered political parties that ran in the 2019 elections submitted audit reports.
Only nine of the 34 met the full requirement of submitting audit reports accompanied by an affidavit.
“In the 2019 general election, we tracked election expenses, and we have a report on that,” he said. We will go through this process in 2023.
“The commission keeps track of general election spending.” We had some figures from the presidential elections of the two major parties in our previous report. We recall that the maximum limit was N1 billion at the time, and what we had based on our tracking across the country was N4.6 billion and N3.3 billion. We monitored four items: billboards, print media advertisements, electronic media advertisements, and coverage/programs.”
Idris stated in the audit report, “In the 2019 election, 91 political parties participated and approximately 34 submitted reports of expenditure.”
“However, even among the 34, there were issues with report compliance.” Only nine of the 34 fully complied with submitting a report with an affidavit. The commission is already auditing political parties’ accounts for the last five years: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021.”
When asked if the major parties were among the 34 that had submitted audit reports for the 2019 election, he simply stated, “The major parties were not among the 34 political parties that submitted audit reports for the 2019 election.”
All attempts to reach the APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, for comment were futile.
He had not responded to the text message sent to him for clarification as of the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, INEC’s Electoral Institute provided an estimated breakdown of some of the 1.4 million ad hoc staff members who will be trained in preparation for the 2023 general elections.
“We will train approximately 17,685 supervising presiding officers; 707,384 presiding officers/assistant presiding officers; 11,083 collation officers; 12,991 registration area technical officers; 20,000 security officers; and 6,009 registration area centre managers,” said the institute’s Director-General, Sa’ad Idris.