Only INEC can audit campaign funds, says coalition
Shekarau denies collecting N25m for 2015 polls
A coalition of socio-political organisations in the South-West under the aegis of Network for Equity and Justice (NEJ) yesterday told the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that only the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is empowered by law to look into campaign funds of political parties and ascertain whether they have overshot the stipulated limit.
Speaking against the backdrop of the arrest by the EFCC of Senator Ayo Adeseun, who represented Oyo Central Senatorial District and Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance & other Financial Institutions till May 2012, the group accused the EFCC of persecuting politicians from the zone.
While expressing support for the anti corruption crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari, the group said a situation where some opposition members are singled out for persecution by the anti graft agency was unacceptable.
Meanwhile, former Governor of Kano State and Education Minister, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau has denied receiving N25 million from the N950 million campaign funds allegedly shared in Kano before the 2015 Nigeria general elections.
Shekarau, who spoke to newsmen at the weekend after his release from the custody of EFCC in Kano, said he is prepared to defend himself before any judicial body or court of law.
The former governor explained that his name had been mentioned among top members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who were given N25m each to campaign for immediate former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Shekarau also said he has challenged the individual who had him indicted before the EFCC operatives to prove the allegation that he (Shekarau) collected the N25m.
Officials of the EFCC arrested Adeseun last Tuesday over involvement in campaign funds disbursement, detained for a night at State CID in Ibadan, before he was whisked to Lagos by EFCC operatives on Wednesday.
NEJ’s Media Officer, Joshua Obadare, said more than five days after Senator Adeseun was picked up, no charges had been preferred against him wondering why he was only allowed access to his lawyers after his third day in incarceration.
“The agency granted him administrative bail and one of the bail conditions is that he should provide the Certificate of Occupancy of a property in Ikoyi, where houses costs hundreds of millions of naira.
“The EFCC has a zonal office in Ibadan, why did it take the Senator to Lagos? Obviously, EFCC is acting a script written for him by Aso Rock.
NEJ maintained that the EFCC does not have any right to grant administrative bail. Only the police and court can grant bail. “Are we saying politicians in the APC campaigned for the last election using personal funds?” the group queried.