YNaija Exclusive: PDP violates Electoral Act with record campaign donation, seeks legal advice

by Godwin Akanfe

pdp rally

Following last Saturday’s fund raiser by the Peoples Democratic Party
(PDP), more people have condemned the amounts raised. Some have pointed
out that an illegality may have been committed by the party in its bid to
re-elect the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. Over N21 billion was raised
at the event.

According to a legal practitioner, Kelechi Agbato who spoke to YNaija, the
PDP has shown a disdain for the law. He said, “Section 91(9) of the
Electoral Act forbids a single individual or entity from donating more
than N1 million to any candidate, this was clearly breached last Saturday.

“Sub-section 10 of the same section adds that a candidate who knowingly
contravenes this section commits an offence and upon conviction, is liable
to a maximum fine of N1 million or a term in prison of 12 months, or
both.”

Other people who spoke condemned the amount raised despite increasing
poverty and economic reversals, with states complaining of being
financially hamstrung due to falling oil prices.

Meanwhile, a source within INEC who prefers to remain anonymous told
YNaija that the Chairman of Skye Bank, Mr. Tunde Ayeni, and more than 30
other businessmen might be fined for their donations.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Manual said it is
compulsory for PDP to disclose the names and addresses of those who
contributed to its campaign funds.

In reaction, we also understand that the PDP has sought legal advice and
may defend itself by claiming that the donations were done for the
completion of its National Secretariat.

The donors also risk sanctions from the boards of companies where they are
major players. According to sources in Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC)  and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the law only allows the
imposition of a fine on any company or a member of the Board of Directors
involved in campaign funding.

During the dinner Mr. Ayeni announced a donation of N2.5 billion for
himself, friends and power sector. Hajiya Bola Shagaya donated N5 billion
for the Oil and Gas Sector, and Oluchi Okoye donated N4 billion on behalf
of Real Estate Sector.

Other donors were Ominife Uzoegbu who gave N500 million for the Food and
Agriculture sector, Didi Ndimou, the chairman of Deep Offshore who pledged
N1 billion for the Transport and Aviation Sector, Cizaly Limited N250
million, Shelter Development Limited which gave N250 million, the SIFAX
Group donating N100 million, National Automotive Association who gave N450 million, and the National Association of Stevedores Companies who gave N25 million.

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