Publish campaign funding sources, SERAP tells Atiku, Tinubu, others

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has urged presidential candidates of the major political parties contesting in the February 2023 general election to publish the sources of their campaign funding.

SERAP said this in a press statement dated October 29, 2022, and signed by its deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, stressing, “Transparency would help to control inappropriate influence on political candidates, ensure fairness, equality, and accountability in Nigeria’s democracy.”

The statement partly read, “We are concerned about the vulnerability of political parties to corruption. Disproportionally large donations seeking specific outcomes or preferential treatment can subvert the wider public interest.”

SERAP also said, “Transparency in campaign funding would improve public trust in Nigeria’s politicians and political parties, and show your commitment to prevent and combat corruption if elected.”

According to SERAP, “If Nigerians know where the money is coming from, they can scrutinise the details, and hold to account the candidate and party that receive it.”

“SERAP would consider appropriate legal actions to hold you and your political party to account for any infractions of the requirements of campaign funding, as provided for by the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], the Electoral Act and international standards, even after the 2023 elections.”

“SERAP urges you to sign ‘transparency pacts’ that would mandate you to disclose the identities of donors and widely publish donations and contributions including on your party website and social media platforms.”

Transparency in campaign funding would ensure fair and open elections, and address concerns about undue influence by the more economically advantaged and privileged individuals, as well as prevent corruption of the electoral process.”

“Political parties provide the necessary link between voters and government. No other context is as important to democracy as elections to public office. Nigerians therefore must be informed about the sources of campaign funding of those who seek their votes.”

“SERAP also urges you to urgently invite the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to monitor campaign funding and expenditures by your political party.”

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