The attention of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has been drawn to two front-page reports published in Thisday Newspaper on Thursday, September 6, 2018, titled: “Contrary to Electoral Act, Group Buys N45m Nomination Forms for Buhari” and “Thisday Editors Urge President to Reject Forms”.
In a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, the APC said Thisday Newspaper rightly reported that a group, Nigeria Consolidation Ambassadors Network paid the sum of N45, 000, 000.00 (Forty five million naira) for the purchase of the Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms for President Muhammdau Buhari.
Thisday Newspaper reportedly cited Section 91 (9) of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended). This section provides thus;
“No individual or other entity shall donate more than one million naira (N1, 000, 000.00) to any candidate.”
However, the APC advised that the newspaper, as a reputable news outlet, “ought to restrain itself from such sensational reportage and avail its team with good legal advice before rushing to conclusion based on erroneous legal grounds.
“Aside the fact that there is a world of difference between an “Aspirant” and a “Candidate” in the eyes of the law, there has been no contravention of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). The Nigeria Consolidation Ambassadors Network (NCAN) was responsible for the purchase of the Presidential Form for President Muhammadu Buhari and has indicated that it acted as a collection medium to aggregate micro contributions from thousands of Nigerians keen to ensure his re-election.
“While we restate that as a political Party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) mandate observance and compliance with the dictates of the law, we also acknowledge that this singular act by thousands of Nigerians severely jolted the ranks of opposition politicians and their paid agents in the media hence their desperate attempt to tar such a noble gesture with the brush of illegality.
“This is especially the case considering the loud silence of Thisday Newspapers when former Vice President Atiku Abubakar enjoyed the same gesture from his supporters to purchase the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Nomination and Expression of Interest Forms for the 2019 presidential election.
“While we respect Thisday Newspapers laudable contributions to the media industry, we call on the Newspaper to be fair and balanced in its reportage.”