INEC asked to publish details of parties’ financial transactions

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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to publish the reports of parties’ accounts and balance sheets.

The body also wants details of the guidelines and steps being taken to prevent vote-buying in forthcoming elections and to prosecute vote buyers and other electoral offenders.

In a letter, SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, noted that citizens have the right to know about the accounts and financial transactions of parties.

He said transparency and accountability would curb the influence of money in politics, promote a level playing field, and remove the risks to the independence of political actors and would-be public office holders.

The organization insisted it is both immoral and illegal to pay citizens to vote for a particular political party or standard-bearer

“Unpunished cases of vote-buying would continue to undermine good governance, the rule of law, moral values, as well as hinder citizens’ participation in elections”, it said.

SERAP told INEC that when candidates buy votes, there are possibilities that they will disregard for democratic rules.

“Vote buying and related electoral offenses encourage poor governance and weaken citizens’ capacity to hold their elected officials accountable for their actions.”

SERAP charged the electoral umpire to collaborate with anti-corruption agencies to ensure the effective prosecution of any outstanding cases of vote-buying and related electoral offenses.

The letter urged INEC to act within 14 days or face legal actions that would compel it to comply with the request.