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INEC Wants Jail Term For Vote Buying, Electoral Offences

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has proposed a fine of five hundred thousand naira (500,000) or three years imprisonment or both for persons convicted of vote buying, selling and other electoral offences.

INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu made the disclosure at the 9th Forum of the Anti-Corruption Situation Room, organised by the Human and Environment Development Agenda, HEDA held in Abuja.

Represented by National Commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, Prof Yakubu urged the National Assembly to evolve new legislations to curb the ugly trend.

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He decried the embarrassment the commission has had to face from international community.

He said: “The National Assembly should isolate vote buying and selling and properly define it, it varieties and ingredients and make it a separate item in the Electoral Act and provide sanction for violation.

“The punishment for vote buying should be increased and made stiffer to act ad deterrent to buyers and sellers. Those that commit the offence of buying and selling should be made to pay a fine of N500,000 or be subjected to three years imprisonment or both.

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“Restriction on the use of smart phones in the polling units should be imputed into the Electoral Act and violators should be liable on conviction to find of N500,000 or three years imprisonment or both”.

Recall that there have been allegations of vote-buying, selling and several other electoral malpractices by opposing political parties in the just concluded general elections in the country.

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