Taming a Lion: Barriers to Monitoring Campaign Finances of Political Parties Prior to the 2015 Elections in Nigeria

Moses T. Aluaigba


The role of money is germane to the survival of political parties and the conduct of their campaigns during electioneering periods. In fact, electoral processes in liberal democracies cannot end successfully bereft of requisite finances. However, this does not warrant the excessive deployment and vile use of money in the electoral process thus, contravening acceptable ethical standards. This is why in all democratic climes, there exist rules that guide against illicit acquisition and utilization of funds by political parties in financing their activities. The Nigerian democratic scenario is not different from this general norm as there are electoral laws that parties should observe in their quest to obtain finances to execute their programmes. These laws also specify penalties the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) can use in punishing erring political parties. In the build-up to the 2015 general elections in Nigeria, did the political parties adhere to existing laws while generating funds? Did the INEC adequately monitor how the political parties expend money during their campaigns? This paper examines and attempts to answer these questions by qualitatively analyzing the conduct of political parties with regards to their campaign funds before the 2015 polls. It assesses INEC’s efforts at monitoring their finances and the obstacles hampering the process in Nigeria and proffers solutions to the hydra-headed problem of monitoring the finances of political parties in the country.

Keywords: Campaign finances, Political parties, Elections in Nigeria, Democracy

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/9-18-10

Publication date:September 30th 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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