Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, expended about N43.5 million on the purchase of the governorship forms of the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party.
While his former party, APC, sold its expression of interest forms for N2.5million and its nomination form for N20million, bringing the total cost to N22.5m, the PDP sold its own expression of interest forms to him for N1million, while the nomination cost him N20m, making a total of N21m.
The N43.5million Governor Obaseki expended on purchasing the forms of both parties is non-refundable.
A group, Obaseki Mandate Group, claimed to have bought the Edo governor his APC forms.
Obaseki was eventually disqualified by the APC during the screening without receiving a refund and he subsequently defected to the main opposition PDP.
Last Friday, the Edo governor bought the PDP forms and was subsequently screened.
The whopping sums charged by both the APC and PDP for their nomination and expression of interest forms have been a source of controversy in recent times.
Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), had lamented the high cost of the forms, insisting that it was immoral and illegal.
Falana said political parties should try to generate funds by ensuring that all members paid monthly dues.
The activist described the forms as “a mere piece of paper,” which should not be sold.
He added, “It is illegal and prohibitive to collect nomination forms. When you do that, you are excluding people from participating in the democratic process. In 2003, INEC attempted to collect money for nomination forms.
“The 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.”