N45 million form purchased for Buhari is illegal- Murray Bruce

Nigerian lawmaker, senator Ben Murray-Bruce on Wednesday said the donation of expression of interest and nomination forms to president Muhammadu Buhari for his re-election is illegal and should be rejected.

A group known as Nigeria Consolidation Ambassador Network (NCAN) purchased N40 million nomination and N5 million expression of interest forms for Buhari on September 5.

Murray-Bruce, while reacting to the purchase of the presidential form for Buhari by NCAN in an interview with journalists, said the President should obey the rules guiding electioneering.

Nigeria’s Electoral Act 2010 says “An individual or other entity shall not donate more than NI, 000,000 to any candidate.”

The act also says “A candidate who knowingly acts in contravention of this section commits an offence and on conviction is liable in the case of limitation on election expenses to a maximum fine of N1 billion or imprisonment for a term of 12 months or both”

The lawmaker representing Bayelsa East senatorial district urged the President to respect the provision of the Electoral Act that says the maximum donation to a political campaign is 1 million Naira.

Murray-Bruce, who is the vice chairman of the Senate committee on media and public affairs, also condemned the APC for selling its nomination form for the presidential election for N45m.

“First, the APC is charging N45m; that is exorbitant and it is clear that they do not want democracy in the party, because N45m is too high for anybody to seek public office,” Murray-Bruce said.

“Second, if anybody has bought the form (for Buhari), then it is a breach of the Electoral Act because a person cannot make a donation that is more than N1m.”

“As the ruling party, and as a party that should obey the rule of law, they should ensure that they obey the laws of the land.”

“If N1m is the limit, then they should obey it. If they charge N45m per aspirant, then it is quite obvious that it is skewed in favour of one individual and not for democracy in the APC. But more importantly, it is an APC problem, not the PDP,” Murray-Bruce said