2019: Purchasing nomination form for Buhari not illegal – Rep Pwajok

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The Member representing Jos South/Jos East Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Edward Pwajok on Saturday said the purchase of nomination form by a group for President Muhammadu Buhari to contest the 2019 presidential election is not illegal.

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Pwajok, who is the chairman House Committee on Human Rights, noted that the Electoral Act stipulated that only when an aspirant becomes a candidate of a political party that sponsorship of his election is limited.

The lawmaker, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, was a former Commissioner for Justice for eight years, and is vying for Plateau North Senatorial seat under the ruling APC. He said President Buhari is still a presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and until he is presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as candidate of the party, he cannot be questioned for accepting a nomination form purchased and presented to him by a group of people.

“Buying the expression and nomination form for President Muhammadu Buhari to contest the 2019 Presidential election by a youth group is legal.

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“There is nothing in our electoral Act that makes donations of money beyond any limits illegal to an aspirant.

“The section 91 of the electoral Act referred to by some individuals refers to limitation on election expenses by political parties and candidates for party as of now including the President.

“What we have now are aspirants and there is a clear distinction between aspirants and candidates as far as the electoral Act is concern. Section 87 of the electoral Act is relevant as spelled out in section 87 (4) c (11) the aspirant with the highest number of votes at the end of voting shall be declared the winner of the primaries of the party and the aspirant’s name shall be forwarded to the commission as candidate of the party.

“This means it is when an aspirant transmutes to a candidate that the limitations on expenses becomes applicable. The electoral Act regulates expenses of candidates and parties are bound to declare their income and expenses which are audited.

“That does not apply to aspirants. So there is nothing illegal in some citizens buying forms worth millions of naira for any aspirants except if the source of the funding is illegal like proceeds of crime which is not the allegation being made.”

Pwajok, who has purchased his expression of interest and nomination forms, vowed to work for the unity of Plateau North and rid the region of the current insecurity that has claimed several lives and property worth billions.

The lawmaker vowed to consolidate on his impressive achievements in the House of Representatives to the benefit of the entire zone and the state to enthrone peace and unity for the prosperity of the people.