PROPOSED BILL TO ESTABLISH THE NATIONAL ELECTORAL OFFENSES COMMISSION, EFCC KICKS.
Written by AIGBOKHAEBHO OKHUELEIGBE on August 23, 2022
By: Sade Omonisaye
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) has kicked against the establishment of the National Electoral Offences Commission, insisting that the proposed legislation will result in duplication of functions by several government agencies.
The Chairman of the anti-graft agency, Abdulrasheed Bawa who stated this during a public hearing on a Bill for an Act to establish the National Electoral Offences Commission noted that some of the offences said to be in the proposed legislation have already been criminalized by extant laws.
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Mahmood Yakubu, while giving a nod to the proposed legislation, however, called on the lawmakers to as a matter of urgency, pass the bill into law as the commission is currently unable to effectively prosecute offenders.
Yakubu further disclosed that the desired reform of the nation’s electoral process cannot be achieved without effective sanctions on violators of the electoral law.
Other stakeholders including Civil Society Organisations underscored the importance of having an independent body to prosecute electoral offenders.
The bill proposes fines ranging from N40 million or 20 years imprisonment for ballot snatching, forty million or 10 years imprisonment for hate speech, 15 years imprisonment with no option of fine for the perversion of electoral justice and 15 years imprisonment for bribery and undue influences.