Socialist Party of Nigeria, SPN, has asked Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, to reverse the N250, 000 fees for the Local Government Chairmanship poll Nomination Form, as well as the N100, 000 proposed for the councillorship position in the state.
Comrade Ayodeji Adigun, the party’s Secretary, made the call while addressing newsmen at their protest ground in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital yesterday.
According to him, “We condemn and reject the decision of the commission to charge a fee to obtain a nomination form. As far as we are concerned in SPN, nomination forms for positions are meant to be obtained by all the interested candidates at no cost.”
The spokesperson for the party said Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako had settled such development when she ruled that neither the Independent National Electoral Commission nor State Independent Electoral Commission is empowered by the Constitution to prescribe or charge political parties fees to field candidates in elections.
“SPN learnt from the media reports that the political activities for the election shall last between 17th of February and 14th of May, 2021 while every prospective candidate for the chairmanship and councillorship position will be expected to pay a sum of N250, 000 and N100, 000 respectively to obtain nomination forms for their respective position.
“This has been settled in the court judgment delivered by Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako, where it was declared that neither the INEC nor SIEC is empowered by the Constitution to prescribe or charge political parties fees to field candidates in elections. It is in the light of this, we of the SPN hold that OYSIEC’s decision to prescribe a nomination fee is illegal and hereby demand immediate reversal!
“The OYSIEC is a public institution whose establishment by the state government is supported by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to conduct election into local government areas across the state. This, therefore, implies that the funding of OYSIEC including the provision of materials to facilitate its function and the basis for its establishment should be the sole responsibility of the state government and not political parties or individuals that are to participate in the election,” the party added.
SPN maintained that, charging candidates a fee for nomination form is capable of undermining the credibility of the election. And that the election will be less participatory and be reduced to a contest among few candidates of ruling political parties like All Progressives Congress, APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP who have public money at their disposal to throw around.
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