The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmoud Yakubu, has dismissed claims that the electoral body received funds from international development partners to conduct the 2023 general election.
Yakubu dismissed the claim when he spoke at the commission’s meeting with civil society organisations (CSOs) on the review of the 2023 general election on Monday, July 24. He was reacting to a claim made by Phrank Shaibu, an aide to Atiku Abubakar, the flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 25 presidential election that the federal government received €39 million for the election.
“FG got 39 million Euros from the EU as funding for 2023 election. EU report says the election was rigged and FG is calling EU meddlesome interloper after collecting 39m euros. You know you rigged. We won’t beat you. We are in court. Just agree. There is honour even among robbers.”
Responding to the allegation, Yakubu said international partners did not directly contribute to the election.
“Rather, their support was totally indirect through civil society organisations and implementing partners working on elections. Indeed, it has been a longstanding policy of the present commission not to receive direct funding and cash transfers from sources other than the federal government of Nigeria. We hope that we shall continue to have this type of productive partnership with civil society and development partners in the future. It is in furtherance of this partnership that the commission accredits observers because the feedback we receive, and their actionable recommendations have been very helpful to the electoral process.
For the 2023 general election, the commission received 538 requests (504 domestic and 34 foreign) for accreditation as observers. After a thorough evaluation of the requests, only 228 groups (190 domestic and 38 foreign) met the requirements for accreditation. However, so far, only 67 observer groups (62 domestic and five foreign) have submitted their reports which represents just about 30% of the accredited groups for the election. We urge all accredited observer groups that are yet to submit their reports to do so in earnest.”