Prosecution Of Electoral Offenders Will Serve As Deterrent To Others – Gbajabiamila On Offences’ Bill

In a bid punish electoral offenders, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has said the parliament will pass the Electoral Offences Act before the end of the ninth assembly.

Gbajabiamila who disclosed this during plenary on Tuesday while addressing assembly members following election break resumption said its implementation will serve as warning to those who choose to sway in subsequent elections.

Recall 2023 elections across a number of States, were marred with incidents of thuggery, voter intimidation and suppression.

Also via a preliminary report released by the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM), 21 persons were killed during the elections.

However, Gbajabiamila noted the punishment of electoral offenders will serve as a deterrent to others.

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According to him, the ninth assembly will finalise work on the bill before the inauguration of the 10th assembly.

“The Electoral Offences Act is one area where we must take action before the culmination of the 9th house of representatives,” Gbajabiamila said.

“The Act is necessary to ensure effective enforcement against individuals and organisations whose violations of our electoral laws undermine our constitution and threaten our democracy.

“A system of vigorous prosecution and punishment of electoral offenders will serve as a deterrent to others in the future and help build confidence in our elections.”

The Speaker commended Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for “the hard work and commitment to ensuring free and fair elections across the country.”

He furthered there is a need for an “objective assessment” of the elections, adding that the 2022 Electoral Act has been “particularly instrumental” in improving the elections process, especially through the use of technology to facilitate voter accreditation and transmission of results.