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ELECTION: Politicians, Electorates May Risk Jail Over Electoral Offences

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba
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Barely four days to the conduct of the Presidential and National Assembly elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and sister security agencies have warned that anyone involved in acts which constitute electoral offences as provided by the Electoral Act would be fine, imprisoned or face both.

Addressing stakeholders Tuesday in a joint press briefing by the Delta state INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Cyril Omorogbe and the Commissioner of Police, CP Adeleke Adeyinka, at the INEC/Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), at the Officers Mess, Okwe, Asaba, they emphasized that vote buying constitutes an offence under section 130(a-b) of the Electoral Act 2010.

According to the INEC REC, the penalty for such act is a fine of N100, 000 or 12 months imprisonment or both, stating that the Commission is working closely with security agencies, are determined to exterminate the scourge that seeks to undermine the country’s democracy.

Dr Omorogbe, further hinted that the Electoral Act 2010, provides penalties for those who seek to intimidate or threaten voters from freely expressing their choice through their votes, “section 131 (a-b) of the Electoral Act 2010 ( as amended) also prescribe a penalty of N100, 000 fine or imprisonment for three years. It is also an offence to canvass for votes on the day of elections, going by the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 which prescribes that campaign ceases 24 hours before election”.

He vowed that the commission and security agencies would not tolerate such blatant disregard for the laws governing the election process just as he warned: “No one, no matter how highly placed should come to the polling unit or 300 metres from the polling units, bearing arms or accompanied by anyone bearing arms. We want to specifically appeal to our VIPs to comply with this demand”.

Also speaking, the Commission of Police in the state, Adeleke Adeyinka, assured INEC staff and the electorates that there would be adequate security, “INEC staff will be protected and properly secured”, calling on the public to help INEC officer do their job.

He disclosed that there would be double tag for security agencies from INEC and the police to help the public identify the authentic security personnel on election duty, “we are going to display a high sense of commitment and professionalism, calling on the electorates to give security agencies adequate cooperation to succeed.

Barely four days to the conduct of the Presidential and National Assembly elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) and sister security agencies have warned that anyone involved in acts which constitute electoral offences as provided by the Electoral Act would be fine, imprisoned or face both.

Addressing stakeholders Tuesday in a joint press briefing by the Delta state INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Cyril Omorogbe and the Commissioner of Police, CP Adeleke Adeyinka, at the INEC/Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), at the Officers Mess, Okwe, Asaba, they emphasized that vote buying constitutes an offence under section 130(a-b) of the Electoral Act 2010.

According to the INEC REC, the penalty for such act is a fine of N100, 000 or 12 months imprisonment or both, stating that the Commission is working closely with security agencies, are determined to exterminate the scourge that seeks to undermine the country’s democracy.

Dr Omorogbe, further hinted that the Electoral Act 2010, provides penalties for those who seek to intimidate or threaten voters from freely expressing their choice through their votes, “section 131 (a-b) of the Electoral Act 2010 ( as amended) also prescribe a penalty of N100, 000 fine or imprisonment for three years. It is also an offence to canvass for votes on the day of elections, going by the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 which prescribes that campaign ceases 24 hours before election”.

He vowed that the commission and security agencies would not tolerate such blatant disregard for the laws governing the election process just as he warned: “No one, no matter how highly placed should come to the polling unit or 300 metres from the polling units, bearing arms or accompanied by anyone bearing arms. We want to specifically appeal to our VIPs to comply with this demand”.

Also speaking, the Commission of Police in the state, Adeleke Adeyinka, assured INEC staff and the electorates that there would be adequate security, “INEC staff will be protected and properly secured”, calling on the public to help INEC officer do their job.

He disclosed that there would be double tag for security agencies from INEC and the police to help the public identify the authentic security personnel on election duty, “we are going to display a high sense of commitment and professionalism, calling on the electorates to give security agencies adequate cooperation to succeed