Human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has threatened to sue political parties for collecting fees for nomination forms from aspirants gunning for elective position.
According to Falana, charging such fees is unconstitutional, describing it as prohibitive.
“The conditions for contesting elections from local government, to the House of Assembly, governorship, House of Representatives, Senate and presidential levels are all in the constitution,” the human rights lawyer told Punch.
“There are decisions of the court to the effect that the Independent National Electoral Commission and state electoral commissions cannot collect fees from candidates who are contesting elections.
“So, if I am going to contest election, you can’t ask me to pay N27m as nomination fee because that is unknown to the constitution.
“Therefore, the parties cannot decide their own rules. They cannot impose prohibitive rules that will restrict the participation in the contest of an election to moneybags.
“Of course, we may have to sue the political parties if they continue this illegality. We cannot go on like this.”
He added that “aggrieved party members should be encouraged to challenge the prohibitive nomination fees imposed on aspirants by political parties.
“I believe any citizen, who meets the requirements outlined in the Constitution, is qualified to contest any election. Political parties cannot add to the constitutional requirements.”