Nigeria 2015: SERAP drags APC, PDP to court for undisclosed campaign expenses

APC Presidential Primary.

For failing to disclose their planned expenditure and sources of funding, Nigeria’s two largest political parties have been charged to court.

The suit is coming over one month after both parties received a Freedom of Information, FOI, request, but declined to disclose their finances to a civic group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP. The group said it dispatched the FOI request to the the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, National Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, and that of the All Progressives Congress, APC, John Odigie-Oyegun on November 18.

Dissatisfied that both parties refused to honour its request, SERAP has charged them to court. Between them, the APC and PDP govern 34 of Nigeria’s 36 states. The February 14, 2015 presidential election is also expected to be between the PDP’s candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan, and APC’s Muhammadu Buhari.

In stating why it charged both parties to court, SERAP said “Nigerians have the right to know about spending by their political parties especially the major parties with a strong possibility to assume government in the future.”

Read SERAP’s full statement below:

A civil society group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has dragged the All Progressives Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to court over “failure to disclose their sources of spending on their respective electoral campaigns and other operations linked to the February 2015 general elections.”

The suits filed last week at the Federal High Court Ikoyi followed Freedom of Information requests to PDP National Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, and APC National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, dated 18 November 2014.

The originating summons against the PDP with suit number FHC/CS/1969/2014 and against the APC with suit number FHC/CS/1968/2014 were brought pursuant to section 4(a) of the Freedom of Information Act, and signed by SERAP Senior Staff Attorney, Olukayode Majekodunmi.

The plaintiff is arguing that under the FOI Act, “Nigerians have the right to know about spending by their political parties especially the major parties with a strong possibility to assume government in the future. Citizens should be able to examine financial transactions of parties and be certain that politicians are working for their voters, not their benefactors.”

The plaintiff also argues that, both the APC and PDP “Cannot take the position that the FOI Act does not apply to them because to do so will seriously undermine citizens’ trust in their political parties and lack of trust will inevitably destroy confidence in the system and decrease citizens’ interest and participation in democratic processes.”

The plaintiff also said that “Without free and fair elections there can be no democracy. However, elections are only one part of the democratic process, and a fair and effective electoral system must be founded in an adequate democratic infrastructure and responsibility of political leaders.”

The plaintiff wants the court to determine “Whether by virtue of the provision of section 4(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the Defendants are under an obligation to provide the Plaintiff with the information requested for.”

The plaintiff is seeking:

A DECLARATION that by virtue of the provisions of Section 4 (a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the Defendants are under a binding legal obligation to provide the Plaintiff with up to date information relating to the following:

1. Information about the spending and sources of income derived from federal, state and other institutions, agencies or persons for the campaigns and other operations of the Defendants related to the February 2015 elections.

2. The total amounts that have been spent and the anticipated spending and the sources of any such spending related to the February 2015 general elections.

3. Total contributions received by the Defendants for or on behalf of their Presidential candidate and candidates for the governorship elections and the sources of any such contributions.

Earlier in its FOI requests, the plaintiff had expressed “serious concerns about the risks of corruption during electoral campaigns for the February 2015 general elections, especially the role of money in politics and the persistent failure generally to comply with national and international law on political party finance.”

According to the plaintiff, “Releasing the information will help to address the perception among the citizens that the major political parties in the countries are less transparent and accountable. The lack of transparency and accountability in political finance is seriously undermining the legitimacy and credibility of the democratic and electoral processes, and invariably contributing to denying the citizens the right to effective participation in their own government.”

The plaintiff further argued that, “Transparency, accountability, integrity and independence of political parties is also important to achieve greater transparency in public life, to curb the influence of money in politics, to promote a level playing field, and to remove the risks to the independence of political actors and would-be public office holders and the risks of conflicts of interest, including undue influence and corruption in the funding of political parties.”

According to the plaintiff, “By virtue of Section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2011, SERAP is entitled as of right to request for or gain access to information being requested. Under the FOI Act, your party is under a binding legal obligation to provide the applicant with the information requested for, except as otherwise provided by the Act, within 7 days after the application is received.”

The plaintiff also said that, “By Sections 2(3)(d)(V) & (4) of the FOI Act, there is a binding legal duty to ensure that documents containing the necessary information are widely disseminated and made readily available to members of the public through various means. The information being requested does not come within the purview of the types of information exempted from disclosure by the provisions of the FOI Act.”

Signed
Olukayode Majekodunmi
SERAP Senior Staff Attorney


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  • Oleku

    Why is PT ati SR ati The Punch gagging Oleku–ungag me biko–truth is sacrosanct

    • Wähala

      Because you’re also posting as, @Otile, Apkos, Encore etc. It doesn’t matter if you change or use a million handles to express your views, but it matters a lot what those views are. You are a divisive, irresponsible and hateful bigot only interested in “oyel rights” and insulting peoples’ religion, ethos and political opinions. @Deri did that for years and has been banned by all mainstream news outlets… Premium Times are still lenient to allow your ignorant ahss around their site. Aborigine baztard!

      • Oleku

        See who is talking, you insult my brother Jonathan day in and out and call my Niger Delta brothers all kinds of derogatory names, as if that is not enough you extended your divide and tactics to another level by referring to me and my fellow anambrarians that we are not Igbos–mumu remove the wood from your eyes before removing that of another.

        Come 2015, he who laughs last…?

        • Wähala

          I’ve simply told you why you’re getting gagged. Grow up!
          Per that tout @TAWANDA, he deserved the wood in the ahss for picking a fight with me. I pull no lunches even with my Igbo brothers much less a thug who swan across from Igala Kingdom. Anu mpam… anu nchie!

          • glo

            Nnwa nne,mu, you’re killing with laughter o!

          • glo

            @oluke, bu ezigbo anu nchie o!

        • glo

          But you’re not Igbos! Are you now confused about who you are? Nna, you are not igbos o! Aa’ bumu onye igbo, and I grew up being told by my igbo elders to be careful with you “mba nmili’ people. You people seized all the houses we left behind, in Port Harcourt, during the war; you never gave them back to us. Its not by force, you are not ‘ndi igbo’!

      • glo

        Chei, you finished the impostor o! Well done, bro.

  • Sola P.

    Nigeria is under the rule of thieves….

    Nigeria has not been under the rule of law, but under the rule of thieves.
    Political party officials in PDP and APC are utterly dishonest in all things.
    They can’t even account for the ballot papers in a poll amongst themselves.
    They deny Freedom of Information to the people and fail to render public accounts.

    Up till today APC can’t account for the missing 1,190 votes at its presidential primary.
    General Buhari won that APC presidential primary with 3,430 votes. A total of 6,008 votes
    were cast out of 7,214 registered delegates. There were 16 invalid votes at the end of polling.
    So where is the remainder 1,190 ballots, given that each delegate was given a ballot paper?

    • Revolutionary

      Only a bloody revolution can save Nigeria. Thieves and victims can’t live together
      in peace and unity inside the same house. A revolution is surely inevitable in Nigeria
      .

      • Vote Mr Integrity M Buhari

        We don’t need a bloody revolution, all we need is a common sense revolution are the polling booth next year

        • Badejo (Dr.)

          We need a bloody revolution. A country where someone misrepresents himself in public
          as John Kayode Fayemi whilst in fact being a Muslim – an Alhaji – is corrupt.
          We can’t continue to live in such frauds and expect progress as the consequence of deceit.

          • Adediji

            Yes O! It was this same Alhaji John Kayode Fayemi who in fact organised the APC election.
            So, what do you expect from someone who can’t be honest in little things like his own name?

          • Aso Rock

            “What we are facing is not just militancy or criminality but a rebellion and insurgency by terrorist
            groups which pose a very serious threat to national unity and territorial integrity. Already, some
            northern parts of Borno State have been taken over by groups whose allegiance is to different flags than Nigeria’s.

            “There is a systematic effort by insurgents and terrorists to destabilize the Nigerian state and test
            our collective resolve. These terrorists and insurgents seem determined to establish control and
            authority over parts of our beloved nation and to progressively overwhelm the rest of the country.”

            ……….President Goodluck Jonathan

            (May 14th, 2013)

          • Tolani

            You mean that water-bed ex-governor of Ekiti state is a Muslim? Why was he hiding it?
            What is the meaning of Alhaji John Kayode Fayemi? I have never heard of such.
            This is very bad. Islam is not an offence and Yoruba Muslims should stop deceit.

          • glo

            Are you alright so?

        • Badejo (Dr.)

          @ Mr. Integrity,

          Ha, ha, you must be a born-follower of that dunce called Bola Ahmed Tinubu who ignorantly defined common sense revolution as the printing of more money to meet the shortages caused by dwindling national revenue.

          Everybody else who went to school in Nigeria hissed at Bola Tinubu’s nonsense and refused to dignify his illiterate suggestion with a reply. In fact, i think you are the only one in Nigeria who commented on it. But you are smart to run away from Bola Tinubu’s illiterate economics and instead re-define your own common sense revolution differently in terms of voting.

          • glo

            APC=ONE ILLITERATE

          • glo

            PDP=ALL ILLITRATES

          • Vote Mr Integrity M Buhari

            Pele ooh Dr. Illiterate, Dr. my foot….. anybody wey just pass in front of school sef no go talk without common sense like you just did

        • glo

          True. BUHARI ALL THE WAY!

    • segun

      Sola. P since you are a member of the campaign team of President Jonathan I have the following questions for you .(i) The Ribadu Task force on the petroleum Industry indicted President Jonathan’s woman Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke, who is the minister of oil. President Jonathan has dumped the report. Can yu please ask that President Jonathan bring the report into the open and enforce the indictment of her woman-Alison Madueke? (2) The same Mrs. Diezani Alsion Madueke is embroiled in the use of govt money to buy private jet. Can you ask President Jonathan to come clean on this and prosecute Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke.? (3) The missing $20b under Mrs Diezani Alison Madueke. Can President Jonathan explain to Nigerians the extent of the investigation?

      • glo

        Good questions.

    • glo

      GO AND ASK YOUR PAY MASTER, PDP, ABOUT 7 BEING GREATER THAN 19.

  • Wähala

    SERAP should sharaap!
    They should drag PDP to court for illegally raisin billions of Naira in campaign contributions from State Governments, Federal Gov. Agencies and critical sector players like, infrastructure, oil & gas, etc. Elections are around the corner so, I expect all sorts of frivolous court challenges for a piece of the fruitcake. This is plain blackmail lawsuit, SERAP has been around these calamitous 6yrs of Dumbo not making public his tax return papers… why hasn’t this org. used same FOI to force relevant agencies to begin Dumbo’s Transparency Agenda by telling us how much he is worth? Don’t worry, Rotimi Amaechi will soon start flashing Buhari’s Asset Declaration Forms at campaign rallies, that’s when SERAP will realize the true value of the FoI Bill… Clowns!

    • glo

      True talk, bro.

      • Oleku

        Go siddon–both of you are senseless clowns

        • glo

          Come o, you smelly mouth, what are you still doing here? They haven’t swept you out? Look, I don’t have time for you right now.

  • favourtalk

    They should just stop all those cheap talk, those campaign looks like naming ceremony to them, they too just want to be heard before the election, when they have been silenced since four years ago when GEJ almost destroyed the country and they didn’t say anything. We will send GEJ back to otuoke now now

  • NoSpinEd

    Your article, in an attempt to highlight the trend towards globalization, fails to draw an important distinction between legal and illegal immigration. You may recall that even Nigeria had to send back millions of citizens from Ghana a few decades ago because they purportedly crossed the border illegally. No country will survive for long that does not closely monitor and determine who can come in. That is what Brexit is all about.

    • thusspokez

      …fails to draw an important distinction between legal and illegal immigration.

      Dare I remind you that EU citizens living in the UK are not illegal immigrants. And yet it is this group that is the reason most English and Welch voted to leave the EU.

      • NoSpinEd

        So you don’t believe that the sudden uncontrolled surge in refugees( in the millions) from The Middle East has anything whatsoever to do with Brexit. Right?

        • thusspokez

          uncontrolled surge in refugees (in the millions) from The Middle East

          “In their millions”? Anyway since the discussion is about Brexit or the UK, I should remind you that in September 2015, David Cameron announced that the UK was to accept 20,000 Syrian refugees in the next five years [repeat: “in the next five years” or about 4,000 per year].

          • NoSpinEd

            I stand corrected. The total number surging into Europe is close to a million so far with no end in sight. The issue in contention for EU members is that they don’t get to choose how many refugees to accept and absorb. Brussels dictates it because of its open borders policy for EU members.

          • thusspokez

            Brussels dictates it because of its open borders policy for EU members.

            Brussels doesn’t dictate immigration policy of any country. Any country that signs up to the EU must accept the EU conditions — one of which is free movement of EU citizens.

            I have heard and read your type of comment or response over a thousand times; and debated them too. And I have come to realise that no amount of facts and logic will change your conviction that immigrants are coming over here to take your jobs, flat; women; deprive your children of school places; rape your women; block hospital beds and deprive your grandpa “who fought in the war” of his hip operation.

            I have heard them all for so many decades, but more so in the past year, hence I am not going to waste my time reproducing responses which I had given a hundred or more times on UK media, so good day to you!

  • thusspokez

    Even the Brexit evangelists were surprised by the outcome. Britain is in a crisis! In many third world countries, this would usually trigger a military coup. In England, people often take to sharp blades to cut themselves; this crisis was a national self-harm with David Cameron supplying the metaphorical ‘blade’.

    The Prime minister (PM) has resigned and is now only a caretaker PM; his party is in tatters; the opposition party is even in worst situation with majority of its members of parliament passing a “vote of no confidence” on their party leader. If this is how the so-called first world runs itself, it has nothing to teach the so-called third-world governments on democracy and governance.

    The saddest thing is watching the English totally confused and clueless — no one knows what to do next. And as if to send them into deeper depression, Iceland — yes you heard me , Iceland — beat England 2-1 in the on going Euro 2016 football competition.

    It was John Dryden, England’s first Poet Laureate who said that “For those whom God to ruin has design’d, He fits for fate, and first destroys their mind.”. I quote John Dryden’s version because the article is about England albeit, Sophocles, Euripides, and Seneca all said the same. Indeed, this is true of his English countrymen and women.

    As for what Brexit means for the developing world? I question the premise of the question. The fall in the price of oil or crop failure in Africa or Asia has greater meaning to the developing world than a nation taking its first roll down a cliff.

  • Gugurus Ekpa

    Brexit was an ideal sold to people on a platter lies. Brexit, on one level was a power struggle, and on another level was a reflection of how little globalization has been understood. Those who failed to find footing on the power structure of global markets within the UK had to stamp their emblems of relevance and legitimacy on global powers by denying the globalists the absolute power which they have long been accumulating in centrality. Brexit is a futile undertaken because those in the UK tryinig to take power from the EU globalists, are soon going to find out that global powers have many more levers of pain they can unleash on the UK.