Human rights lawyer Femi Falana has faulted the N100m presidential nomination form fee set by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), describing it as “immoral” since the country’s minimum is N30,000.
Falana made the comment on Thursday, days after the APC fixed the prices for nomination forms for those vying for seats in the 2023 elections. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also pegged its presidential form fee at N40m.
“Those outrageous nomination fees are immoral, insensitive, and illegal,” he said.
“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 explained.
According to him, the move 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.”
Falana’s comment comes on the heels of debates about the prices for nomination forms by the APC.
But the party’s spokesman Felix Morka says the criticisms about the fees are not justified.
According to him, no economy anywhere else in the world is perfect and despite that, “there are people who still live opulent lives ad make legitimate money” in Nigeria.
“Our party is not for the rich,” he stated. “The party came to a decision that the value placed on these forms are justified”.