The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will monitor bank account of politicians and political parties in order to assertain the sources of their funds for their campaigns and mobilising of people.
This was revealed by INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, in Abuja yesterday at a political conference.
He noted that a panel will be set up to adequately monitor the inflow, outflow of cash and spending of politicians in regards to the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
Yakubu also reiterated that it will work with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ensure all banks report any form of illegal transactions by politicians while stating the commisson will also monitor spending on voting days in order to avoid vote-buying by politicians.
When asked about the legality of INEC plans to monitor politicians account, INEC, replied that it’s yet to announce the race to the 2023 general election so therefore, the commisson is not aware of any transactions for now.
“As long as we have not notified anybody that the race to the 2023 general election has started, we are not unaware of what anybody is doing. We follow the law strictly.
“We have not officially declared a notice for the 2023 general elections, but when we so declare, we will put our monitoring committees to motion like the Central Bank, Department of State Services (DSS), EFCC, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), the (commercial) banks and other law enforcement agencies. We have that plan already.
“Every candidate must be made to declare his bank asset. That is where they draw out their money, so we will make them present their statement of account right from the onset. We will make it mandatory for them to turn in their bank statement so that if they say they are doing billboard and the account remains the same, then there is a problem,” Yakubu said.
On the issue of vote-buying, the INEC chairman said: “We are going to establish finance monitoring teams and they will be among the electorate but they (politicians and political parties) won’t know. We are going to do it in a way that the influence of money will be reduced because we want to make the electoral field a level playing ground for both rich and poor candidates and the electorate. Everybody will go on an equal economic level so that you won’t influence the voting pattern”.
Although, INEC is yet to announce the race for the commencement for the 2023 general elections but many politicians have declared their intentions to succeed Buhari, as some groups are busy mobilising for their desired candidates.
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; Governors Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), NyesomWike (Rivers), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi); former Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido, and Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, all from PDP
Not forgetting the likes of Former presidential spokesperson, Dr Doyin Okupe; former president of the Senate, Ayim Pius Ayim; magazine publisher and newspaper columnist, Dele Momodu have also made their intentions known.
While for the APC, Former Governor of Lagos State Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the most popular name emerging from the party.