Crime Focus

Electoral offences attract jail term or fine (I)


With Saliu Woru Mohammed

Continued from last week

Democracy is defined as government of the people for the people. Democracy can also be rightly defined as rulership by the people. It is a system of government where eligible voters are allowed by the law to exercise their right of franchise to elect their representatives either at the federal, state or local government levels, who will represent them in government for a certain period of time as may be prescribed by the law.
It is in line with this that the eligible voters across the sixteen local government area councils of Kwara State will go to the polls in their various voting centres to vote for the council chairmen and councilors who will represent them. The exercise has already been scheduled by the Kwara State Independence Electoral Commission (KWSIEC) under the chairmanship of Dr. Uthman Abdulrahman Ajidagba to hold on the 18th November, 2017 throughout the state. The electoral body in the state has already begun necessary sensitisation of all registered political parties registered for the election in the state, including all eligible voters aimed at achieving a hitch free and credible election.
As an eligible voter, you are no doubt aware that law regulate all aspects of our lives, the electoral process is no exception. The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, the Electoral Act 2010 as amended and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) rules and regulations, constitute the legal framework, which regulates our electoral process, conduct and actions which it contradict the constitution, the electoral Act amounted to an infringement of the constitution and punishable under the enabling Penal Code Law or Act.
You are therefore advice that to engage yourself in any form of electoral malpractice, i.e. registering more than once, unlawful possession of voters card, selling or buying of voters card could lead you to a term of one year imprisonment or N100,000 fine or both as the case may be.
Also, giving false information in any application for registration as a voter, hindering another person from registering as a voter, impersonating a registration official, carrying out registration of persons illegally or forging a registration card all amount to infringement of the electoral law.
The law, also frowns at a person voting or attempting to vote at an election which he or she is not qualified or inducing a person to vote in an election knowing that such person is not qualified. Such person stand the risk of going to JAIL for a period of 12 months or pay fine of N500,00.00 or both.
The beauty of democracy is the guarantee of the freedom of association and expression among others. In a nutshell, you are allowed by the law to cast your vote for any candidate of your choice or join any political party of your choice. On the Election Day, you are allowed by law to be at the voting centre only if you are an eligible voter. You are not allowed by law to be at the voting centre with people who are not authorised by law.

To be continued next week

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