About N43.5 million has been spent on buying governorship forms of the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party, for Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, The PUNCH can confirm.
The APC sold its expression of interest forms for N2.5 million while the nomination form was sold for N20 million, bringing the total cost to N22.5 million which is non-refundable.
The APC forms were purportedly bought for Obaseki by a group known as Obaseki Mandate Forum.
The governor was disqualified during the screening without receiving a refund and he subsequently defected to the Peoples Democratic Party.
The PDP on its part sold its expression of interest forms for N1 million while the nomination form was sold for N20 million, a total of N21 million.
Obaseki bought the forms last Friday and was subsequently screened.
The high cost of nomination and expression of interest forms by the two main parties in the country – APC and the PDP – has been a source of controversy in recent time.
Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), had lamented the high cost of forms, insisting that it was immoral and illegal.
Falana said political parties should try to generate funds by ensuring that all members paid monthly dues.
The activist described the forms as “a mere piece of paper” which should not be sold.
He added, “It is illegal and prohibitive to collect nomination forms. When you do that, you are excluding people from participating in the democratic process. In 2003, INEC attempted to collect money for nomination forms.
“The late Chief Gani Fawehinmi led us to court and the court held that it was illegal and unconstitutional to collect nomination forms, after we had dragged not former than seven to eight state governments to court over money for nomination forms for LG elections.”