Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has denied accepting any direct money or funding for the 2023 general election from overseas development partners.
According to News About Nigeria, Mr. Yakubu provided the clarification during a meeting with CSOs on Monday in Abuja as part of the commission’s post-election assessment.
According to him, the commission has a policy of only accepting funding indirectly through cash transfers from the federal government.
“It is necessary to seize this opportunity to correct the impression in some sections of the public that the Commission received huge sums of money from development partners for the election,” he added.
“On the contrary, and for the avoidance of doubt, the Commission did not receive any direct funding or cash support from international development partners.
“Rather, their support was totally indirect through civil society organizations 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.”
However, Mr. Yakubu, asserted that the commission did get assistance from foreign partners in the form of technical guidance, voter and civic education, meeting organization, capacity-building seminars, and the publication of documents.
In addition, he noted that this was “totally indirect” and came from organizations inside civil society as well as implementing partners involved in electoral activities.
Mr. Yakubu stated that during the campaign for the 2023 elections, the commission received 538 requests for accreditation as observers.
228 of them were accredited; however, only 67 of the groups have turned in their reports to the commission.
The remaining accredited observer groups were asked by Mr. Yakubu to submit their findings as soon as possible.
The three-week-old post-election assessment focuses on all aspects of the electoral operations before, during, and after the polls through “introspection, stocktaking, review, and evaluation,” according to the INEC chairman.
“This is one of the best ways to continue to improve the electoral process. As I said on several occasions since we commenced the review meetings three weeks ago, the Commission welcomes diverse opinions about the election insofar as their purpose is to improve the future conduct of elections and to consolidate our democracy,” he said.
On Tuesday, media editors, political parties, and the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) have all fixed meetings with the commission.