Human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana has described the presidential nomination form fee set by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and some other political parties, as not only immoral but also insensitive and illegal.
Falana stated this when he appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Thursday. According to him, such outrageous fees by political parties when the country’s minimum wage is N30,000 is simply an insensitive move.
The ruling APC had fixed N100 million as the cost for its 2023 presidential aspirants to obtain forms. The APC explained that the nomination form would go for N70 million while the expression of interest form costs N30 million.
Also, the opposition Peoples Democratic party pegged its presidential form at N40 million.
So far, only the African Action Congress (AAC) has announced that its nomination forms are free for all aspirants.
The National Working Committee of the AAC on Thursday announced that its expression of interest and nomination forms are free for all aspirants ranging from the office of the President to that of the Local Government Area office contenders.
A statement signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Femi Adeyeye, said, “We hereby declare that the expression of interest and nomination forms of our great party is free for all aspirants.”
Reacting to the declaration made by the other parties, especially the APC and PDP, Falana said, “Those outrageous nomination fees are immoral, insensitive, and illegal.”
He described the move by the political parties as illegal as it violates the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Nigerian constitution.
“Again, section 42 of the Nigerian constitution provides that nobody shall be subjected to any restriction or discrimination on the basis of class, fortune, sex, or whatever,” the constitutional lawyer added.
“If these parties are saying they want to exclude unserious people, that if you cannot mobilise N100 million or N40 million, you cannot attain some positions in your country, that is discriminatory and illegal.
“No restriction can be erected to prevent you from participating in the politics of the country. You are now saying that the politics of the country is for moneybags or fat cats. That is against the spirit and the letters of the constitution.
“The immorality of it is that we have over 90 million Nigerians that have been classified poor. In a country where the minimum wage is about N30,000 and it is not paid by some states, you can’t say you are collecting N100 million or N40 million to purchase a form,” he was quoted as saying.