- The House of Representatives is considering a bill to bar political aspirants with criminal records from seeking elective offices
- The bill is to stop Nigerians with conviction records either abroad or within the country from contesting elections in the future
- The lawmaker also proposed that security and law enforcement agencies keep track of the offenders
The Nigerian House of Representatives is making moves to prevent politicians with records of criminal convictions either in Nigeria or abroad from contesting for political positions in future elections.
According to Vanguard, the bill entitled “National Convict and Criminal Records (Registry) Bill, 2020, is sponsored by the House committee chairman on army, Abdulrazaq Namdas.
A copy of the bill obtained by the newspaper publication notes that the lower chamber seeks to frustrate the ambition of politicians with records of crime in the future.
The proposed law reads in part: "Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any other law and subject to the provisions of this Bill, every person seeking election into any public office in Nigeria or seeking employment in the public service of the federation or any state, shall apply for a clearance certificate pursuant to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section.’’
“The registry shall, upon an application made to it by any person, issue or cause to be issued a clearance certificate, stating among other things, that the applicant is not a convict and is not serving, nor has served any term of imprisonment, not been indicted for a criminal offence for which he was found guilty and convicted either in Nigeria or in any other country.”
The proposed bill is by Namdas who also wants offenders to be tracked by law and other security agencies. The registry has been urged to arrest and prosecute applicants found to have records of crime.
Legit.ng previously reported a bill seeking to grant immunity to the presiding officers of the National Assembly and states’ Houses of Assembly was on Tuesday, February 26, endorsed by members of the House of Representatives.
A report by Leadership indicates that the amendment of the 1999 Constitution would provide immunity for the Senate president, deputy Senate president, speaker of the House of Representatives, as well as the deputy speaker.
In a related development, the House of Representatives has made a move to stop Nigerians of 70 years and above from seeking elective offices henceforth and that is if a bill being planned scales through.
The bill is being sponsored by the deputy chief whip of the House, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, in a move that would also amend some sections of the constitution. The bill also plans to now fix the minimum educational requirement to contest the presidential election at a Higher National Diploma (HND) or a bachelors degree from a university.
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