The EFCC is discreetly investigating 18 Nigerian political parties and their presidential candidates. The investigation took place after an enormous amount of money was paid for the expression of interest and nomination form by candidates vying for various positions in the party.
The anti-corruption agency has requested the National Electoral Commission to give them the financial statements of political parties.
Managers from these two banks were asked to provide relevant information about bank accounts associated with the respective political parties.
The ruling party’s presidential forms cost N100 million, while the opposition party’s nomination forms cost only N40 million. In addition, the ruling party’s gubernatorial aspirants paid N50 million for their nomination and expression of interest forms, while persons who are vying to win in the Senate or House of Representatives or state Houses of Assembly pay only N20 million,
The PDP bought governorship forms for N21 million; the Senate was N3.5 million; Nigeria House of Representatives, N2.5 million, and state Houses of Assembly was 600,000.
The two dominant Nigerian parties charged exorbitant nomination fees and more people were angered by this than other forms of money laundering.
Yesterday, Abdulrasheed Bawa hinted on Politics Today that the EFCC will be monitoring campaign finances, including the legitimacy of funds used in the purchase of nomination forms.
The commission will be working with the National Electoral Commission to track those who spend a lot in buying candidacy forms. They are also collaborating with other election-related organizations.
He said, “We cooperate with INEC as we work to prevent election fraud.”
The public reporting, referencing, and analysis of the evolution of information can either mitigate or amplify misinformation.
A recent investigation has indicated that the agency began to track the finances of interest groups and political organizations.
The EFCC demands, in a letter to the INEC Chairman, information about all political parties and their designated bank accounts.
The commission is conducting an inquiry, and needs to obtain information from your organization. Please provide the following: A list of all registered parties, a list of all accounts submitted to your organization by registered parties, and any extra information that could help the agency complete its investigation in a timely manner.
The EFCC sent letters to the managing directors of the two major political parties, informing them that it was investigating 14 accounts.
The investigation involves accounts 0692988080, 0035644896 and 0044183689 in Access Bank belonging to the APC; an account with number 0054586830 owned by the National Secretariat of the PDP, and three other accounts by Umbrella Trust Limited – 0076600091, 0066988655 and 0068595990.
In Polaris Bank, one of the accounts belongs to the APC (1771444115), while two are operated by the PDP – 1140060876 and 1770319690 – and four by the ‘PDP Fund Raising Dinner’ – 1771643176, 177647521, 177164514 and 1771647507.
Wetkas wrote that the commission was investigating a case where the account names and numbers featured.
“In view of the above, you are kindly requested to forward the certified true copies of the following: Account opening packages/mandate cards; statement of account from January 2021 to date (hard and soft copies). The soft copy should be copied to excel format and forwarded to [email protected]”
Once the commission receives the identification certificates and other documents, it will investigate the matter.
EFCC probes nomination form aggregators over identity checks
The probe might also extend to different support groups that bought nomination forms for aspirants.
According to the financial crimes commission, certain interest groups were being used to carry out these illegal activities.
For example, the Association of Fulani-Almajiri, which is a northern nomadic pastoralist and Almajiri community, on Monday obtained 100 million Naira worth of APC presidential forms for former president Goodluck Jonathan.
The group has paid for these forms with funds raised from the sale of cows, primarily to ensure that Jonathan, who they call the best possible President for Nigeria, wins in 2023.
Three interest groups, the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, Emefiele Support Group and Friends of Godwin, purchase the presidential nomination forms for Mr. Godwin Emefiele.
A coalition of 28 groups, including Youth Arise Movement, Nigerians in Diaspora, One Nigeria Group, Prudent Youth Association of Nigeria, as well as women groups and farmers, got the required APC presidential forms for the President of the African Development Bank Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina last Saturday in Abuja.
Similarly, the Tinubu Support Organisation procured the N100m forms for a national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. The leadership of the South-West Agenda for Asiwaju led the groups that picked the forms for Tinubu, who was at the time in Saudi Arabia for the lesser hajj.
The head of a Nigerian organization writes, “I, Hon. Aminu Suleiman would like to officially state that I have signed a cheque to the tune of 100 million naira for the purchase of nomination and expression of interest forms for our leader @officialABAT. God bless”.
No fewer than 28 aspirants bought the APC presidential forms, which closed on Friday.
This isn’t the first time a group has purchased a political form for an aspirant, this is just the instance that occurred earlier in 2018. This purchase took place when Muhammadu Buhari was running for a second term in office.
The PDP really wanted to win. 17 people bought the N40m party forms, but only 2 of them passed their screening.
They are governors Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State; Nyesom Wike of Rivers State; Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State; and Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State; investment banker and economist, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen; and a former Anambra State governor, Peter Obi.
Former Senate President, Pius Anyim; ex-President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Sam Ohuabunwa; United States-based medical doctor, Nwachukwu Anakwenze; Publisher Ovation Magazine, Dele Momodu; former Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Cosmos Ndukwe and Charles Ugwu.
The presidential candidate from the Peoples Democratic Party is a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; a former Senate President, Bukola Saraki; a former Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose and Teriela Oliver.