A new electoral bill before the National Assembly is proposing a N2million fine or imprisonment for a term not more than two years or both for anyone who sells or offers to sell his or her voter card.
The bill is also proposing imprisonment for a term not more than one year for anyone who registers twice in the voter register.
This is contained in the draft copy of the electoral bill which is due for consideration by the Senate.
The bill exclusively obtained by LEADERSHIP states: “A person shall not register in more than one registration centre or register more than once in the same registration centre.
“A person who contravenes the provisions of subsection (2) commits an offense and is liable on conviction to a fine not more than N100,000.00 or imprisonment for a term not more than one year or both”.
The bill also stipulates that any person, including an entity, who is in illegal possession of any voter’s card, whether issued in the name of voter or not, “sells or offers to sell any voter’s card issued in the name of any voter or not, or buys or offers to buy any voters’ and whether on his or her own behalf or on behalf of any other person commits an offense and is liable, on conviction, to in the case of an individual, a fine not more than N2, 000,000.00 or imprisonment for a term not more than two years or both, and in the case of an entity, a fine of N5, 000,000.00.”
LEADERSHIP observed that electronic transmission of results which has been clamoured for by Nigerians is missing in the draft bill.
The bill also provides that any candidate or political party that exceeds the spending limit placed by the commission commits an offence, and “is liable on conviction to-(a) in the case of political party, a fine not more than N10 million and forfeiture of the amount donated and (b) in case of an individual, a fine of five times the amount donated in excess of the limit placed by the Commission.”
Spending for senatorial and House of Representatives contests, according to the bill, shall not exceed N1.5 billion and N500 million respectively.
Spending for candidates in the State House of Assembly election shall not exceed 50, 000, 000, 00, while the same amount is also pegged for chairmanship candidates and N500,000 for those contesting for councillors’ seats in the Federal Capital Territory.
State Police Bill Passes 2nd Reading In Reps
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives yesterday passed for a second reading the bill seeking to create state police and other state security services.
This bill seeks to excise Item 45 (Police and other government security services) from the Exclusive Legislative List and place same on the Concurrent Legislative List to give allowance for different state governments to legislate on security matters, which will effectively give state governments powers to establish state police.
Sponsor of the bill, Hon Luke Onofiok, while leading the debate during plenary, noted that the federal structuring of security does not encourage community policing or localisation of policing.
“Recruitment and subsequent deployment of police officers in their local area is one of the major ways of curbing crime. Such officers understand the area, terrain, language, behaviour and attitude of the people he or she is policing,” he said.
According to Onofiok, the primary responsibility of every government all over the world is to protect and preserve the lives and properties of its citizens and to maintain law and order.
“The principle of social contract is chiefly anchored on this responsibility where the people relinquished and contracted their rights to the government for the protection of their lives and properties,” he stated.
Onofiok, however, said failure on the part of the government to keep to this basic responsibility/contractual term portends danger.
He noted: “Many years after independence, Nigeria has continually been beset with insecurity ranging from terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, and domestic violence.
“Granted that there is no society without crime or manifestation of criminal behaviour, our inability to bring to the barest minimum crime is a scathing indictment on the current security architecture and structure in the country.”