2023: INEC To Monitor Politicians’ Bank Accounts, Transactions.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will shine a spotlight on politicians and political parties in the run-up to the 2023 general election in order to trace the sources of financing for their campaigns.
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC Chairman, announced the intention during a symposium on political campaign funding held by The Electoral Forum in Abuja yesterday.
The commission, according to Yakubu, would form teams to monitor electoral expenditure ahead of the vote.
The INEC chairman, who was represented by Prof. Ajayi Kunle, INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of the party monitoring committee, said the electoral empire will also monitor money flow on election days to combat vote-buying at polling stations.
Commercial banks will be required to disclose all questionable transactions before of the election, with the help of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), according to Yakubu, who threatened to punish any bank that refused to participate.
When questioned about the legal ramifications of the action, INEC’s chairman said that the Electoral Act and the constitution provide INEC the authority to create any additional laws that will help it function more efficiently.
“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”.