The bill that will sentence or convict a candidate, any person or agent who destroys a ballot Box or papers during election for a term of twenty years Imprisonment, has scaled through the second reading yesterday at Plenary.
The Bill entitled, ” An Act to Establish the National Electoral Offences Commission and for Other Related Matters, 2019″ is sponsored by the Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Abubakar Kyari, All Progressives Congress, APC, Borno North and Co- sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo- Agege, APC, Delta Central and the Chairman, Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Kabiru Gaya, APC, Kano South.
The Senate to come up with a National Electoral Offences Commission bill where no candidate or agent of his or any other person shall grab, loot, damage or destroy in any manner ballot boxes or ballot papers or any other electoral document or material, before, during and after an election, or take or attempt to take or cause to be taken ballot boxes or ballot papers or any other electoral document or material before, during and after an election without the permission of election official in charge of the election at a polling station.
There was however a fine of at least N40, 000,000 for such an offence, just as the Bill is prohibiting hate speech and any who in the course of politics or election, uses or directs the use of threatening words, behaviour or action, or display or directs the display of any written material which is threatening or incites violence is guilty of an offence that is liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term of at least Ten years or a fine of at least forty Million, or both.
The new bill is also proposing a term of fifteen years when found guilty of destroying, snatching or opening a ballot box when you are not so authorised.