The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), with support from the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES), recently organized a two-day workshop with the theme – Review of Reporting Templates on Campaign Finance and Political Party Congresses, Conventions and Primaries in Keffi, Nasarawa State as part of preparations for the 2019 general elections.
The workshop featured presentations on political finance regulations in Nigeria, existing reporting forms on campaign finance, party primaries and conventions, campaign finance tracking in the 2015 General Elections and legal framework on monitoring of political party congresses, primaries and conventions. The resource persons include Messrs Jide Ojo, Eze Onyekpere and some staff members of the Election and Political Monitoring Department (EPM).
Participants were drawn from INEC’s departments with previous experience in monitoring political parties – EPM, Legal Services and Election Alternative Dispute Resolution.
The ECES representative and Project Director, David Le Notre, in a goodwill message, noted that the readiness of political parties to comply with extant regulations and guidelines by INEC is vital to the credibility of the electoral process. He commended INEC’s decision to put an effective mechanism in place for monitoring compliance before, during and after elections through the review of existing templates.
Le Notre, who was represented by Dr. Isiaka Yahaya, an Electoral Administration Expert, assured INEC of ECES’ support for regular engagements with political parties, adoption of political parties’ Code of Conduct, capacity building for EPM staff, and the development of standardized templates within the context of the EU-SDGN, in collaboration with the Political Parties Policy and Leadership Development Centre (PPLDC) of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies.
In a welcome address, the Director of EPM, Mr Aminu Idris noted that the review workshop was organized to ensure that the EPM exercises adequate oversight functions on political parties in Nigeria, in line with the provisions of Section 153 (c) of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution, which empowers INEC to monitor the organization and operation of the political parties, including their finances.
Represented by the Deputy Director in charge of Party Registration, Mr Shehu Wahab, Aminu said effective tracking and collation of campaign finance were crucial, since some of the documents would be required in election litigations. He thanked ECES for supporting the review workshop and expressed the hope for more support geared towards strengthening oversight capacities of INEC.