CSJ is virtually the only national CSO engaged in Political Finance Reforms. This includes capacity building for political parties and the civil society; reduction of the influence of money in electioneering; reporting of expenses by political parties and candidates and monitoring of same by the Independent National Electoral Commission (“INEC”). The overall goal is to enhance transparency and the observance of best practices in campaign and political financing.
CSJ sent a memorandum to the Electoral Reform Committee headed by Justice Uwais on the reform of the political finance provisions of our laws. It also sent a memorandum to legislative Committees in the Senate and the House of Representatives on the reform of political finance provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act. CSJ’s personnel with the support of IFES anchored the training of political party bursars on financial reporting obligations of political parties and retiring election expenses to INEC under the 2006 Electoral Act. It made a presentation on political finance reforms at a workshop for members of the Electoral Reform Committee. CSJ has documented an occasional paper on Fiscal Issues in Elections and INEC. It has also compiled Legal Standards on Political Finance and the Use of State and Administrative Resources.
In late 2007 and early 2008, CSJ engaged INEC through series of letters and reminders on the need for political parties to render accounts of their 2007 electioneering expenses as required by sections 89 and 94 of the 2006 Electoral Act. CSJ is on the Steering Committee of the Political Finance Monitoring Group (PFMG) and the group includes political parties, civil society organizations, anti corruption agencies such as ICPC and EFCC, the academia, etc. Since 2009, CSJ has been part of media discussions first, for the implementation and secondly, the reform of the political finance provisions of the Electoral Act.
CSJ organized capacity building for civil society groups and published a monitoring manual in the run-up to the 2011 elections. It thereafter deployed monitors across the country to monitor campaign finance and use of state and administrative resources at the presidential level. The report emanating from this exercise is titled Non Transparent Spending. In 2012, CSJ organised training and deployed campaign finance monitors for the Edo gubernatorial election. CSJ also monitored campaign finance and the use of state and administrative resources in the Ondo and Anambra gubernatorial elections. The reports of the monitoring exercises have been published as Spending to Win (Edo) and Spending to Rule (Ondo) respectively.