…Want special commission to handle offences
By Tordue Salem
The House of Representatives will, in a few days, consider a proposed law to set up a Special Commission to prosecute electoral offences arising from next elections.
The bill exclusively obtained by Vanguard, is entitled “Electoral Offences Commission and Tribunal Bill, 2021”.
The bill, sponsored by Kingsley Chinda(PDP-Rivers), in a proposed Part 3, states in part that “The Commission shall investigate, enforce and prosecute all electoral malpractices and electoral offences created under the Constitution, Electoral Act any other law.
“Advice the electoral entities of any change in practices, systems or procedures compatible with the effective discharge of the duties of electoral entities as the commission thinks fit to reduce the likelihood or incidence of electoral and related offences; adopt measures to identify, trace and prosecute thuggery, electoral fraud, political terrorism and related offences.”
The amendment also seeks to “adopt measures to prevent and eradicate the commission of electoral malpractices, including coordination, preventive and regulatory actions, introduction of investigative and control techniques, and the collaboration with election observers within and outside Nigeria.”
The bill equally seeks to “facilitate the exchange of scientific and technical information with other democracies in the conduct of joint operations and training geared towards the eradication of electoral fraud and malpractices; inform and educate the public on matters related to electoral and related offences and carry out such other activities as are necessary or expedient for the full discharge of all or any of the functions conferred on it under this Act or conferred upon it by an Act of the National Assembly.”
It also states that “the Commission, shall have powers to investigate and prosecute any person suspected to have conspired to commit or has attempted to commit or has committed an electoral offence or an offence under Constitution, this Act, the Electoral Act, or any other law”
The piece of legislation seeks to “examine the practices, systems and procedures of any electoral entity and where, in the opinion of the Constitution, such practices, systems or procedures aid or facilitate electoral offences, to advice on ways by which electoral offences may be eliminated or minimized by such entity.”
A new Electoral Act, currently before the National Assembly, seeks far-reaching reforms of the electoral system in the country.
The House resumes plenary Tuesday, to continue deliberations on key amendments for a new Electoral Order.