Labor Dares INEC, NIDCOM

Prof. Pat Utomi, strong ally of the presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP), has dared the Independent Electoral Commission(INEC), saying the portal to get funding support from diasporans and their counterparts in Nigeria would go live next week.

This is as the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) advised Nigerians living abroad to be careful not to violate laws relating to campaign funding ahead of the 2023 general elections.National Chairman of LP, Julius Abure, recently, inaugurated an 11-man Diaspora Committee to organise fund-raising activities in support of the Presidential Candidate, Peter Obi

The Inauguration also came a day after the party’s Diaspora support groups, in a media report, pledged to unveil a crowdfunding portal with a target to raise $150 million from Obi’s supporters in the Diaspora and N100 billion from those in Nigeria.Utomi spoke on Channels TV Politics Today from New York where Peter Obi is on a sensitization tour.“Section 85 (a) (b) of the Electoral Act provides that any political party that: (a) holds or possesses any fund outside Nigeria in contravention of section 225 (3) (a) of the constitution, commits an offence and shall, on conviction, forfeit the funds or assets purchased with such funds to the commission, and in addition, may be liable to a fine of at least N5million, or (b) retain any fund or other asset remitted to it from outside Nigeria in contravention of section 225.”But in response, Utomi said it was a great disservice to Nigerians abroad to be denied opportunity of supporting a party through donations because already they are disadvantaged by not being able to unlike unlike other countries in Africa which allows them to.‘‘Has the security agencies jailed members of the APC and PDP who have been sharing Dollars,’’ he asked.

Chairman of NIDCOM, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who spoke during the 2022 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Americas (NIDOA) at the Nigeria Consulate in New York on Saturday evening urged them to ensure they observe the laws in their support for presidential candidates in the 2023 general elections

“I have been hearing stories that you are going to raise money for one person or the other person.Whatever you do, don’t break the laws of elections and funding in Nigeria. I think that is very important. I won’t encourage you to break any law relating to political funding; you know how it is operated in America. Ensure you observe the laws also in Nigeria. So as we move on, I can guarantee you that under this administration, we will continue to protect our Diasporans,” she said.

Dabiri-Erewa also urged them not to be disappointed that they would not be participating in the 2023 polls.
She advised them to intensify effort to engage the National Assembly so that Diaspora voting could be passed into law.
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