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Vote buying: Jega advocates tougher legislation

A former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, has called for an urgent review of the existing legal framework, Constitution…

A former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, has called for an urgent review of the existing legal framework, Constitution and Electoral Act, to strengthen campaign finance and vote buying legislation.

He made this known in a paper presented yesterday in Abuja during the National Democracy Day Anti-Corruption Summit themed; Curbing Electoral Spending: A Panacea to Public Corruption.

Jega’s paper was titled: Curbing Electoral Spending and Voter Inducement in Nigeria: The Role of Regulatory and Law Enforcement Agencies.

He said all legal provisions concerning disclosure requirements for political actors; contribution limits as it affects the behaviour of funders; spending limits as it affects expenditure by candidates and parties should be reviewed in line with global best practices.

He noted that the objective is to impose limits on the campaign and general political finance spending and impose stiff penalties for none compliance.

He also said corporate contributions to political parties and candidates should be banned, adding that, candidates and party campaign expenditure should be set at a minimum threshold, be made transparent and enforced.

Also, a former President Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami in a paper presentation titled: The Use of Public Funds in Election Litigation and The Integrity of the Judiciary said the use of public funds by political office holders to pursue election cases a major concern.

He said, “lawyers have become complicit in this decadence, taking undue advantage by charging high fees in naira and foreign currencies,” adding that, most times lawyers insist on cash payments in order to avoid funds being traced directly to them and also avoid paying tax.

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