Election: Reps approve two-year jail term for negligence

Lawan Hamidu. Abuja


The House of Representatives has approved a two year imprisonment and N2milion fine for any Commissioner or Officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, who out of negligence causes the postponement of an election over omission or name of party and their logo.

The move became necessary at the resumption of the consideration of the report on a bill for an Act to amend the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 to further improve the Electoral process.

In amending the relevant section, the lawmakers said  that where an election is postponed due to omission of party name and logo, the Officer, Commissioner in charge of printing the ballot paper that caused the omission shall be liable to a fine of two million Naira (N2m) and a jail term of 2 years or both.

They noted that it will serve as a guide and deterrent for those who may be mischievous or negligent or as dereliction of duty in such all important national assignment and event .

According to the lawmakers, in the event of collating and announcing results at the units wards and up to the local government areas, the returning, presiding and collating officers as the case may be shall be involved subject to the confirmation and verification of the polling agents and the polling officials.

The lawmakers have however proposed a conference committee with the Senate in order to speed up the passage of the Bill in the House before they proceeded on Sallah break , on Thursday.

Speaker House of Representatives Mr. Yakubu Dogara, chaired the ‘committee of the whole’ following the absence of the Deputy Speaker, Yussuf Lassun, who according to reports formally declared  his Osun Governorship ambition in Oshogbo the State Capital.