The Senate has passed a bill which grants 20-year jail term to candidates found guilty of snatching ballot materials.
The bill which seeks to establish the Electoral Offences Commission was passed today, Tuesday, after a consideration by the Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission.
The Chairman of the committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya, said INEC’s inability to prosecute electoral offenders makes it imperative to pass the bill into law.
According to the provisions of section 149 and 150(2) of the Electoral Act (as amended) INEC cannot prosecute electoral offenders.
(149) The Commission shall consider any recommendation made to it by a tribunal with respect to the prosecution by it of any person for an offence disclosed in any election petition.
150.- (1) An offence committed under this Act shall be triable in a Magistrate Court or a High Court of a State in which the offence is committed, or the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
(2) A prosecution under this Act shall be undertaken by legal Officers of the Commission or any Legal Practitioner appointed by it.