Femi Falana, a human rights lawyer, says it is illegal for political parties to sell nomination forms.
Falana said this while speaking at a one-day national electoral summit organised by the Transmission Monitoring Group (TMG) in Lagos.
The event was done in collaboration with United Kingdom’s Department of International Development (DFID).
The lawyer challenged TMG to widen the space for more citizens to participate in the democratic process.
“It is illegal and prohibitive to collect nomination forms. When you do that, you are excluding people from participating in the democratic process,” he said.
“In 2003, INEC attempted to collect money for nomination forms. Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi led us to court and the court held that it was illegal and unconstitutional to collect nomination forms, after we had dragged not former than seven to eight state governments to court over money for nomination forms for LG elections.
“The TMG may wish to put these cases together for people to know their rights. By the way, what is a nomination form? A sheet of paper! What is embarrassing for some of us is that President Muhammadu Buhari complained that he was asked to pay N27m in 2015 for his own nomination form and had to take a loan to raise the money.
“Now that Buhari is the president of Nigeria and leader of the ruling party (APC), what has happened? I think TMG will also want to take this up, especially the legality of nomination forms so that you can open the democratic space for people to contest and participate in the electoral process.”
Oh her part, Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, chairperson of TMG, said a lot still needs to be done to improve the country’s economy electoral process.
“As a people, we cannot continue to live in denial pretending that all is well with our electoral process,” she said.
“It is important for all to appreciate the fact that there is still a lot of work to do, especially in an era where innovation, advancement and improvement in every human endeavour have become a global phenomenon.”