Purchasing Nomination Forms Of Political Parties Through Proxies Is Unconstitutional — Adegboruwa, SAN
A human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has said that the prevalent practice of purchasing nomination forms through proxies is unconstitutional.
Ahead of the 2023 General Elections, associations and groups have bought expression of interest and nomination forms for quite a number of aspirants. For instance, some groups reportedly bought the N100m expression of interest and nomination forms for former President Goodluck Jonathan; Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Godwin Emefiele; and President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, amongst others.
In reaction, Adegboruwa told the PUNCH Newspaper that such practice is unconstitutional. He said,
“All those narratives of groups contributing money to buy forms are contrary to the constitution and this issue can be raised by either the aspirants’ opponents or concerned Nigerians.
“In this particular context, any candidate who did not use their own name to purchase the forms by themselves or through their accredited representatives but through associations is doing so at their peril, because the constitution does not allow participation by proxy.”
He warned that if any of the beneficiaries wins the election, it can be sufficient ground for petition and can lead to nullification of the election.
“I believe that at the appropriate time, the law will be brought to bear on such persons. The only prayer is that they should not win the election, because if they do, it’s enough grounds for election petitions tribunal to nullify that candidate’s victory. It can even be argued that there was no candidate in the first place.
“So, it’s grounds for disqualification or to ask that the election be nullified. However, the law does not allow INEC to disqualify any candidate, except the court. Other candidates can also take it up.” Adegboruwa, said.