INEC To Sanction Political Parties For Financial Recklessness

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Hajia Amina Zakari, the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Political Party Monitoring Committee, says the commission has concluded plans to sanction political parties for financial recklessness.

She told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja that the recent audit reports indicated that most of the political parties had poor record keeping procedures.

According to her, a summary of the external auditor’s reports on the accounts of political parties for 2010, indicate that most of the parties did not follow financial guidelines.

Zakari said there were strict financial guidelines as stipulated by law and henceforth any party that failed to update their account books would be penalised.

She said the action became necessary before the commencement of general elections.

“Don’t forget that we have to handle the elections within a short time, we are improving the party processes, so we are not pampering the political parties.

“We are still in the process of refining the political parties and we are constantly reminding them about the implication of excessive spending.

Zakari said the commission could not wait any longer to apply the big stick on political parties for financial misconduct.

“We are not shying away from the fact that our internal capacity are not up to the required standard.

“We are in the process of building an internal capacity to be able to manage the process adequately.

“We have de-registered a lot of parties that do not meet the requirements as stipulated by the law, so also there are sanctions for political parties with poor record keeping procedures.

Zakari, however, warned political parties against reckless spending during the forthcoming AMAC elections.

“There must be money in politics but it must not be reckless, and not at the expense of the community,’’ she said.

?According to her, the parties should not use government money for campaign, they should be able to source for their money in a transparent manner.

“That is why the commission is always requiring to check their account books to ensure transparency and financial discipline,'' she said.

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