Senate Approves 20-Years Jail Term for Ballot Snatchers

Senate Approves 20-Years Jail Term for Ballot Snatchers

  • There is now a penalty for ballot box snatching, supplying voter’s cards to persons without due authorisation before, during or after election
  • Electoral offenders are entitled to 20-years imprisonment or an option of N40million according to the Senate
  • The Senate on Tuesday, July 13, unanimously approved the establishment of the electoral offences commission to oversee all matters relating to elections

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FCT, Abuja - The upper legislative chamber, Senate, has passed a bill to establish the electoral offences commission as it approved 20 years jail term or a fine of N40m for ballot boxes’ snatchers. 

Nigerian Tribune reports that the bill sponsored by the senator representing Borno North, Abubakar Shaib Kyari, passed the second reading last March and was sent to the Senate committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Senate says 20-years jail term awaits ballot snatchers
The Senate has approved a 20-years jail term for anybody who snatches ballot during an election. Credit: Nigerian Senate.
Source: Facebook gathered that the chairman of the committee, Kabiru Gaya, disclosed this on Tuesday, July 13, while briefing newsmen shortly after plenary.

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INEC lacks the power to prosecute electoral offenders

Gaya, in his presentation, said establishing the Electoral Offences Commission has become imperative in view of INEC’s inability to prosecute electoral offenders in accordance with the provisions of sections 149 and 150(2) of the Electoral Act (as amended).

Daily Trust also reports that The Senate in Clause 12 of the bill approved at least five years jail term or a fine of at least N10 million or both, for any officer or executive of any association or political party that engaged in electoral fraud that contravened the provisions of clauses 221, 225(1)(2)(3) and (4) and 227 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

It approved that a political party’s candidate or agent who damages or snatches ballot boxes, ballot papers or election materials before, during or after an election without the permission of the election official in charge of the polling station attracts at least 20 years imprisonment or a fine of at least N40 million.

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The Senate also adopted the committee’s recommendation of 15 years imprisonment for any person involved in ballot box snatching, supplying voter’s card to persons without due authorisation, unauthorised printing of voters’ register, illegal printing of ballot paper or electoral document among others.

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Senate set to pass the electoral bill into law

Meanwhile, had previously reported that the Senate committee on INEC on Wednesday, July 14, submitted its report to the House after concluding its assignment on the electoral amendment bill.

It was reported that based on this, the report is expected to be listed for consideration and approval by the Senate on Thursday, July 15.

This was confirmed by Senator Sadiq Umar, the chairman of the Senate committee on rules and business.


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