The third force in the election race and presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, has denied the claims that his campaign received $150 million in campaign donations from Nigerians abroad.
Driving the news
Mr. Peter Obi denied these claims after a group, under the aegis of Tinubu-Shettima Connect, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disqualify the former governor of Anambra State over campaign donations of $150 million.
What they are saying
Mr. Peter Obi outrightly denied the claims, saying “nobody has given me anything. That is speculation. What I need is not what they would give me. But what they would give Nigeria, because we need them to turn around Nigeria.”
Why this matter
A literal interpretation of section 225 (3) from the Nigerian Constitution and section (85) of the Electoral Act covering receiving donations from the diaspora leaves some gray areas. These grey areas raise the question of if candidates are allowed to receive and keep donations seeing that Section 225 (3) of the Constitution and Section (85) Election Act named only political parties?
Another unclear angle of an inference from Section 225 (3) of the Constitution and Section (85) Election Act is that do Nigerians living in America, UK, Germany, etc. qualify as foreigners and are withheld from sending funds to political parties or candidates? Is it legal for Nigerians who live outside Nigeria and have a bank account in Lagos, Enugu, Kaduna, etc to send campaign donations to political parties or candidates?
Until INEC clears these grey areas, it would be unwise for a presidential candidate to openly accept donations.