Human rights lawyer and senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana has stated that the payment of “outrageous” nomination fees is illegal and should be cancelled.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had fixed the prices of their nomination and expression of interest forms for presidential hopefuls at N100 million and N40 million, respectively.
The form fees have, however, attracted criticism.
In a statement on Sunday, Falana said since the national minimum wage is N30,000 per month, the deposit of N100 million or N40 million has excluded millions of workers from contesting presidential elections in Nigeria.
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“Ironically, Nigeria houses the second largest population of poor people in the world, but the nomination fees collected from aspirants by APC and PDP are the highest in the world,” the statement reads.
While noting that in Canada, candidates are no longer required to pay a deposit for federal elections, Falana said since the Nigerian constitution is the basic law of the land, any policy inconsistent with it should be struck out.
“Thus, the payment of outrageous nomination fees, which is not one of the conditions for contesting elections under the current democratic dispensation, is illegal and unconstitutional on grounds of inconsistency with the Constitution,” the statement reads