The Electoral Offences Commission Bill, if passed into law will, among others, address the issue of fake certificates presentation by contestants as offenders will be fined a sum of N5million and a jail term if found liable, Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Senator Kabiru Gaya has said.
Gaya (APC, Kano South) who made the disclosures on Channels TV’s Politics Today on Tuesday night, said the Electoral Offences Commission Bill has proposed some harsh punishments for election riggers in order to sanitise the electoral system.
Gaya also disclosed that the electoral act amendment bill is ready and will be passed soon, stressing that the public hearing on the Bill, would take place at the end of the month, after which a report will be presented to both chambers of the National Assembly for consideration.
According to him, the National Assembly has made far-reaching provisions in the Electoral Offences Commission Bill and the Electoral Act (2010) Amendment Bill (2020) which are under consideration and will soon be passed into law.
He said, “I believe what we have there (the amended Electoral Act) will take care of the current problems we have. And I believe the essence of amending the Electoral Act (2010) is to get out of the problems that we went through in the last few elections, the experience we had – the good, the bad systems of elections we went through.
“Let me tell you that we in the committee of INEC, we have now brought up a Bill on electoral offences commission that will be dealing with all the offences committed during elections, where people will snatch ballot box or beat people or force an electoral officer to declare a result, or even kill people at the venue of the election.
“Electoral Offences Commission is going to take these matters seriously. Unless we have people punished for the offences they commit, sadly people will not learn their lessons.
“And even when a party submits a name of a candidate that is not qualified, after disqualifying the candidate, then the law will take effect on the party. The party will be punished and made to pay almost N50million or the leadership will be punished for that.
“And the candidate that fails to submit a good or credible result, that man will also be punished. He will be made to pay about N5million or be handed five years imprisonment.
“So, I believe that if all these measures taken, they are harsh but at least they are best ways to be able curtail these kind of events happening again.”